UK scraps quarantine for India and Pakistan travellers
Easing of restrictions is expected to boost the UK’s travel industry.(Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
VACCINATED Indians will not be required to quarantine on arrival in the UK from Monday (11) as Britain has scrapped tough Covid-19 quarantine requirements for 47 destinations.
Travellers vaccinated in those countries, including India and Pakistan, will be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red-list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England, the Department for Transport said.
Those arriving before the cut off date of October 11 would still need to follow the rules for unvaccinated travellers.
A spokesperson of the British High Commission in India said, “the UK has further opened up international travel and will recognise India’s vaccine certification system from October 11. The decision was taken after close technical cooperation between our ministries taking public health factors into account.”
“The extension of vaccine certification is a further step to enable people to travel more freely again, in a safe and sustainable way, while protecting public health.”
From October 11, Indian travellers who have received both doses of Covishield or any other UK-approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival in the UK can travel without having to quarantine; will not be required to take a pre-departure test nor take a day-eight test following their arrival.
Those not fully vaccinated with one of the four UK-recognised vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen) or any formulation of these vaccines, including Covishield, must take a pre-departure test, and must take a Covid-19 test on or before day-two and on or after day-eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.
Travellers can also choose to shorten their home quarantine to around five days under the Test to Release service.
Many countries with high infection levels were put on a red list, requiring arrivals to spend 10 days in a government-provided quarantine hotel, while the need for a PCR test and other tests often cost more than the flight itself.
Airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet have said that the approach and the frequently changing restrictions have delayed any recovery in the sector, leaving the British industry lagging behind its European peers.
On Thursday (7), the secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, said restoring people’s confidence in travel was key to rebuilding the economy. “With less restrictions and more people travelling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery.”