Covid: India withdraws 10-day quarantine for UK nationals

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A sign reading Coronavirus quarantine in India
There had been tensions between the two countries over the UK's mandated quarantine for Indian visitors

India has withdrawn a 10-day quarantine for UK nationals arriving in the country.

British nationals travelling to India will have to undergo home quarantine for seven days and take Covid-19 tests.

This came days after UK eased similar travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indians.

There have been tensions between the two countries over the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to a release by the Indian government, earlier guidelines dated 17 February will now be applicable to all travellers arriving in the country from the United Kingdom.

The UK had earlier refused to recognise India's Covishield vaccine even though it is identical to the doses given to millions of Britons.

So, fully vaccinated Indian travellers had to isolate for 10 days and take Covid-19 tests - at their own expense - before they were allowed to leave quarantine.

Officials in the UK designated Covishield an approved jab last month after a major backlash in India against what many saw as a discriminatory rule. But it did not add India to the exempt-from-quarantine-list and the restrictions continued.

This led to more backlash from Delhi, which imposed a mandatory quarantine for British nationals arriving in India. Finally on 8 October, UK added India to the exempt-from-quarantine list, ending the mandatory self-isolation.

Covishield is India's primary vaccine, with more than 720 million doses given out so far. It is the same as the AstraZeneca jab used in the UK vaccine rollout.

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