India lifts quarantine rules for vaccinated travellers from UK

India has withdrawn harsher guidelines for UK nationals arriving in India and said that the earlier policies on international arrival would be applicable for UK travellers.

This means that India's travel guideline on October 1 in a tit-for-tat move to the United Kingdom now stands withdrawn. The Indian health ministry has written to all states and Union territories, lifting the mandatory 10-day quarantine for passengers coming from the United Kingdom, according to Indian media reports.

"Based on the evolving scenario, it has been decided that the revised guidelines...stand withdrawn and the earlier guidelines on international arrival dated February 17, 2021, shall be applicable to all travellers arriving in India from the United Kingdom," according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare joint secretary Luv Agarwal.

The UK initially refused to recognise Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Following India's strong criticism of the decision, the UK on September 22 had amended its new guidelines and included the vaccine.

However, the move did not provide any relief from quarantine rules for Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield. In retaliation, the central government on October 1 decided to impose reciprocal travel restrictions on British nationals arriving in India.

Following this, the UK's October 11 change of stance includes scraping rigid Covid-19 quarantine travel rules for 47 destinations, including India.

This meant that all Indians who are full-vaccinated with locally-produced Covishield COVID-19 vaccine will now no longer be required to undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

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