UK will recognise Covaxin for travel (amongst other vaccines)

The UK removed the “Traffic light” system in October 2021 and added Covishield to their approved list of vaccines. However, this left out those vaccinated with Covaxin, the other major vaccine for the Indian vaccination programme. Covaxin has now been approved by the WHO for EUA.

The UK will recognise Covaxin for travel into the UK.

The UK Government has confirmed that from Monday, November 22, 2021, 4 AM onwards, it will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and India.

Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and have received their vaccine certificate from one of over 135 approved countries and territories are not required to take a pre-departure test, day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, passengers will just need to pay for a lateral flow test to take before the end of their second day, post-arrival.

From 4 AM on Monday, November 22, 2021, the UK will recognise the following vaccines:

  • Pfizer BioNTech
  • Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covishield)
  • Moderna
  • Janssen (J&J)
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm Beijing
  • Covaxin

Travel Rules for those fully vaccinated

As per the UK Government, you are on the “fully vaccinated” traveller list if you are on the list of countries whose vaccination programmes are approved per the UK, and you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, excluding the day of the vaccination. Check this page for details.

If you use a vaccine certificate as proof, it must be issued by a national or state-level public health authority, be in English, French or Spanish, and include as a minimum:

  • your forename and surname(s)
  • your date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of immunisation and/or certificate issuer

You will need to go to this page to get your Cowin updated certificate from India.

You must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day two after you arrive in England

You do not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for ten days after you arrive in England

If you are fully vaccinated but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

Travel from the rest of the world if you are not fully vaccinated

From 0400 Hours, October 4, 2021, you must follow these rules if you:

  • do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
  • are partially vaccinated
  • are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the three days before you travel to England
  • book and pay for day two and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for ten days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.


Travel to the UK from India will become even more open from November 22, 2021, onwards for fully-vaccinated travellers who have been given the Covaxin vaccine, who will be able to arrive without an RT-PCR test before departure, and won’t have to quarantine in the UK on arrival from non-red-list countries.

What do you make of the new travel rules being eased by the UK?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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