FAQ: UK Eases Travel Restrictions; What Are the New Rules for Indian Travellers?

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As per the latest travel guidelines issued by the United Kingdom, travellers from India who have been vaccinated by Covishield, the locally manufactured version of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, will be required to undertake a compulsory 10-day quarantine upon their arrival to the UK.

UK's new "measures to simplify international travel", which will come into effect from 4 October, will reduce the costs incurred by travellers due to COVID tests, UK Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said on Friday, 17 September.

Indian vaccines have not been recognised under the purview of the new guidelines – a fact that has upset the Indian administration, The Hindustan Times reported, citing sources.

Here's all you need to know about UK's travel advisory.

What are the present guidelines for persons travelling to UK?

The present guidelines for international passengers travelling to UK entail a traffic light system that classifies nations as red, amber, and green, as per the adjudged level of their COVID-19 risk. India is currently categorised as an amber country.

Fully vaccinated passengers from amber nations do not have to undergo a compulsory 10-day hotel quarantine upon arrival in the UK.

What are the new rules?

The new guidelines, which will come into effect from 4 October, will do away with the green and amber lists, and will retain only the red list of nations.

Fully vaccinated passengers who are travelling from nations other than those on the red list will be allowed to enter UK without having to take an RT PCR test, given that they have received the complete dosage of a vaccine recognised by the UK.

Fully vaccinated travellers will still be required to take a COVID-19 test after landing. From the end of October, an inexpensive lateral flow test will be permitted for this purpose instead of the more expensive RT PCR test.

What do the new guidelines mean for Indian passengers who have been vaccinated by Covishield or Covaxin?

Neither Covaxin nor Covishield have been recognised by the UK. Therefore, passengers vaccinated with these vaccines will be considered as unvaccinated by the UK, and will be required to:

  • Take a pre-departure RT PCR test

  • Take RT PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 of arrival into the UK

  • Quarantine at their given address for 10 days after arrival into the country

  • Fill a passenger locator form

Till when will UK's new travel guidelines remain in place?

The new two-tiered system that will come into effect on 4 October is expected to stay instated till the end of the year.

Also Read: US, UK Ease Travel Guidelines For Indians: What Are the New Rules?

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