Travelling to the UK gets easier from today. What you need to know
Travelling to the United Kingdom has finally become easier for Indians.
Starting today, Indians who have been vaccinated with two doses of Covishield will no longer be required to take pre-departure and day 8 PCR tests or undergo 10-day quarantine.
This brings vaccinated Indians in line with other eligible countries, travellers from where are only required to take a day 2 PCR test after entry into England.
"From 4 am Monday 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, will also 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 last week.
Those not fully vaccinated with one of the four UK-recognised vaccines - Oxford/AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen - must take a pre-departure test, plus day 2 and day 8 tests, 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.
India had imposed reciprocal measures, requiring vaccinated British travellers to also quarantine at a declared destination on entry into India, amid a diplomatic row over vaccinated Indians being treated differently from other countries.
"Good to talk to UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Agreed to facilitate travel between our two countries. This will help to implement the Roadmap 2030," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Friday in the wake of the UK's updated travel norms.
From late October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers will have the option to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.
On September 17, the UK announced a new travel system which has just a red list and rest of the world. New rules apply to rest of the world arrivals in England from October 4.