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Coronavirus

COVID-19 travel: India warns UK citizens of compulsory quarantine amid vaccine spat

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New Delhi on Tuesday warned the UK that its citizens would face reciprocal measures over London’s new “discriminatory” COVID-19 rules requiring travelers from India to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated.

England and Scotland will ease pandemic restrictions from early October, but the list of countries with approved vaccines does not include India, despite the country using a locally made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine created in Britain.

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“The basic issue is that, here’s a vaccine -- Covishield -- which is a licensed product of a UK company manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government,” foreign minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters in New Delhi.

Calling the non-recognition of Covishield “a discriminatory policy”, he said that negotiations were underway with Britain over the new requirements.

“But if we don’t get satisfaction we would be within our rights to impose reciprocal measures.”
India is a major supplier of Covishield globally via the Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine maker.

The government plans to resume exporting COVID-19 vaccines to fulfil its commitment to the COVAX program for poorer countries from October.

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