India has openly expressed its displeasure over Britain’s new Covid-19 vaccine policy regarding travelers. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday that “similar steps can be taken” in such a situation, in case India’s concerns regarding this are not addressed.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar apprised the country’s concerns regarding those getting the Covidshield vaccine to Britain’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss at a meeting in New York.
Let us tell you that according to the new UK travel rules, vaccination of people taking both doses of the Covidshield vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India will not be recognized and they will be required to stay in isolation for 10 days upon arrival in the UK.
Shringla said, “The main issue here is that there is a vaccine, Covishield which is a licensed product of a British company, which is produced in India and on the request of the British government, we have sent 5 million doses of it to Britain. “We understand that this is being used within the National Health System (NHS) and as such it is a discriminatory policy to not recognize Covishield and affects our citizens traveling to the UK.”
Official sources said that if India’s concerns are not addressed by October 4, similar steps will be taken with respect to passengers coming from Britain. Significantly, Britain’s new rule related to travel is effective from 4 October.
In an interaction with journalists, Shringla said he was told that there was some assurance from Britain that the problem would be resolved.
Shringla said, “We have also given the option to some partner countries to recognize each other’s vaccination certificates. But these steps depend on each other’s decisions. We’ll have to see what happens next. If we are not satisfied, it will be within our jurisdiction to take similar steps.”