UK travellers will have to quarantine even if fully vaccinated from 4 October, the Indian health ministry announced on Friday after officials failed to get recognition for the Indian vaccine programme in Britain.
Under changes to the UK travel rules coming in on 4 October, arrivals will not have to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated with certain jabs by approved foreign health bodies.
India's AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, a locally produced version of the British jab, has been approved but India's health body has not. Officials in Delhi called the decision discriminatory.
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the foreign minister, said when the UK rule change was announced that it was in the “mutual interest” of both countries for the rules to be changed.
The British high commissioner in India said the quarantine rules were not related to the certification of the vaccine but because there was still “some Covid” in the country.
An Indian government source told Reuters that India was being reciprocal in introducing its new quarantine rules. The Indian health ministry said the move was taken due to “the trajectory” of Covid cases in the UK.
Around 17 per cent of India’s 1.4 billion population has been fully vaccinated. India has recorded between 18,000 and 30,000 Covid-19 cases every day for the past few weeks. It currently has more than 300,000 active cases.