While India has been working to ease the requirements for international travel and will also reportedly be announcing the issuance of tourist visas again soon, they haven’t taken kindly to the UK’s announcement that Indians travelling to the United Kingdom will be required to go through a 10-day quarantine with the option to test-to-release on day five.
While India currently requires arriving passengers from around the world (Indian nationals, OCIs have a free pass, but others can travel only on business for now), to have a negative RT-PCR requirement took within 72 hours of arrival, which needs to be uploaded on the Air Suvidha website, along with a second RT-PCR on arrival for those from UK, Europe and the Middle East amongst other nations, the process is relatively easy. Institutional Quarantine has been done away with.
While recognising Covishield as an equivalent to the Astra Zeneca ZD1222 vaccine for Covid-19, the UK has declined those travelling from India the opportunity to arrive without quarantine in the UK. While the rest of Europe is slowly opening up to India, many countries such as France and Switzerland are allowing fully vaccinated Indians (with Covishield) to travel without a quarantine requirement.
India to impose Quarantine on UK Nationals from October 4, 2021
India has now imposed a new quarantine requirement for UK nationals arriving in India from October 4, 2021, onwards. All UK nationals arriving into India will have to undertake pre-departure RT-PCR tests 72 hrs before arrival, like everyone else. But UK nationals will have to also serve a mandatory quarantine for 10 days after arrival in India at home or in an Institutional environment. Additionally, they will have to take a Covid-19 test on arrival (existing requirement) and a test on the eighth day after arrival.
Unfortunately, even for fully vaccinated UK nationals, these requirements will be valid from now on. The new guideline specific to UK travellers has been intimated to all international airports, and states will monitor the home quarantine of UK nationals in India.
Here is a copy of the letter.
Now, we can either see the UK walk back on these requirements publicly in the future, just like they have found flawed logic to do other stuff regarding the pandemic, or maybe both sides may harden their position going forward and this spirals into something bigger.
If you are from the UK and travelling into India going forward, you will be subject to a 10-day long quarantine, irrespective of your vaccination status in India. This is a reciprocity move as India has not been accorded quarantine-free travel for vaccinated Indian travellers in the UK.
What do you think of the tit-for-tat that India has imposed on the United Kingdom?
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