New Delhi: Making the United Kingdom understand things in a language and gesture it understands better, the Indian Government has finally decided to impose 'reciprocity' on all British nationals arriving in India from the UK regarding the vaccine and COVID-19 protocols.
"Our new regulations will come into effect from October 4," a source said and asserted that the norms will be applicable to "all UK nationals arriving from the UK."
All British citizens, thus arriving in India from October 4, Monday, will face a mandatory 10-day quarantine irrespective of vaccination status.
This is in response to the UK's hugely controversial similar rules for several countries, including India.
"From October 4, all UK nationals arriving in India from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undertake the following measures:
-Pre-departure Covid-19 RT-PRC test within 72 hours before travel. - Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport.
- Covid-19 RT-PCR test on Day 8 after arrival
- Mandatory quarantine at home or at the destination address for ten days after arrival in India."
Sources said that the authorities in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would be taking steps to implement the new measures.
India's Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla called the British rules "discriminatory" and warned that "reciprocal action" may be warranted.
Under British travel rules unveiled in September, fully dosed arrivals from several nations can enter England without quarantine starting October 4. But vaccinated people from some countries, including India, still face tougher restrictions, including a 10-day home isolation period.
Surprisingly, the UK norms say while those who received Covishield in the UK count as vaccinated, those who got it in India are not.
Notably, the Covishield is a formulation of Oxford University's vaccine against Covid-19, manufactured locally in India by the Serum Institute of India.
New Delhi has exported the vaccine to the UK, which means many people in the UK got vaccinated with Covishield from India only.
The UK's move not to recognise India's vaccination was not only discriminatory, but it also reflected a virtual superiority complex and "colonialist mindset", according to some observers.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met his newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss in New York last month and took up Covishield-vaccinated travellers required to quarantine in the UK.
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