Beginning November 22, Indian travelers who have been properly vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be permitted to travel to the UK without having to undergo required self-isolation, according to British High Commissioner Alex Ellis. The statement came shortly after UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced that the UK had “extended” the list of recognized vaccines for “inbound travel,” implying that Covaxin is now included in the amended list.
The Government of the United Kingdom has issued a travel update. Senior UK officials, notably Ms. Truss, who visited India in the third week of October, have been pressuring New Delhi to recognize India-made vaccinations“from 4 a.m. on Monday, 22 November, the government will recognize vaccines on the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing, and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefiting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and India.”
Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including India’s Covishield), Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) are now recognized by the UK, as is the WHO EUL, which includes Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing, and Covaxin. “Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and have received their vaccine certificate from one of over 135 approved countries and territories are not required to take a pre-departure test, day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, passengers will just need to pay for a lateral flow test to take before the end of their second day, post-arrival,” declared the announcement from the Government of the UK.
The UK has certified two India-made vaccines — Covishield by the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin — with this recent action. Passengers from most (135 nations and territories) of the world will be able to come to the UK as a result of the change, which aims to simplify travel procedures. Covaxin was added to the enlarged list of vaccines in the United Kingdom after the WHO added it to the Emergency Use Listing on November 3 in the midst of India-WHO talks about the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech. The UK’s decision on Covaxin came almost a month after the city excused Covishield-vaccinated travellers from statutory quarantine. Following weeks of medico-diplomatic gridlock, the UK excused properly vaccinated Indians with Covishield from required quarantine on arrival beginning October 11.