Indian travellers who received both doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India will be considered unvaccinated and will have to undergo self-isolation for 10 days upon landing in the United Kingdoms, as per the new rules announced recently.
However, the diktat has irked many Indians, especially students and officials, who were planning their travel to the country.
Questions have been raised regarding the UK relaxing the rules for those vaccinated with two doses Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine when those Indians who got the same version of the vaccine being manufactured in India by Pune-based SII have been kept out of the beneficiary list.
Industrialist Anand Mahindra is also one among those who are expressing their disagreement with the new UK rule.
“There’s only one way to describe this: Outrageous. No need for diplomatic debates over this. The policy should be revised as soon as possible (sic),” Mahindra wrote on Twitter.
In response to this, many of his followers started demanding a “tit for tat” for the situation, where the Indian government also imposes travel restrictions to India.
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had also stated on Thursday that India will be within its rights to initiate reciprocal measures if the UK does not address concerns over the new travel rules.
At a media briefing, Shringla said he has been told that certain “assurances” were being given by the UK that the issue will be resolved.
“We have also offered to some of the partner countries the option of mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. But these are reciprocal measures. We have to see how it goes. But if we do not get satisfaction we would be within our rights to impose reciprocal measures,” Shringla said.
His comments came hours after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar strongly took up the issue of Covishield-vaccinated travellers being required to quarantine in the UK with newly-appointed British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss at a meeting in New York.
Official sources said India will take reciprocal measures against travellers from the UK if its concerns are not addressed by October 4 when the new rules will come into effect.
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