Tit for tat: India to impose 10-day quarantine for Britons | India New…

NEW DELHI: In what marks a definite dip in India-UK ties, the government has decided to impose “reciprocal” quarantine conditions on British nationals after the UK refused to reconsider treating fully vaccinated Indians as unvaccinated, allegedly due to issues about the Indian certification course of action.
Government supplies said the ministry of health and family welfare will issue new regulations that will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving in India, in spite of of their vaccination position. This comes in the wake of UK’s intransigence despite discussions on technical issues and the British high commissioner to India claiming that there were no issues or doubts over either country’s vaccine certification course of action.
The Indian decision will include pre-departure Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travel, Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at airport, Covid-19 RT-PCR test on Day 8 after arrival and mandatory quarantine at home or in the destination address for 10 days after arrival in India.
UK nationals already have to undergo additional screening when they arrive in India. The existing rules were put in place since the UK’s own surge in December. These include seven days in home quarantine and an RT-PCR test at the airport on arrival.
The new regulations will mirror the UK’s own, which increased quarantine to 10 days and two RT-PCR tests, one at arrival and one on Day 8. The difference is the additional test in India. The new regulations are a step-up. The turbulence comes after the new UK rules generated a sharp backlash in India with commentators and officials pointing out that the Indian course of action with its digital identifying characteristics and QR code was far more reliable than measures adopted in many other nations.
A British high commission spokesperson said, “The UK is continuing to work on expanding the policy to countries and territories across the globe in a phased approach. We are continuing to include with the Government of India on technical cooperation to expand UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a applicable public health body in India.”

The UK certification course of action has itself faced questions over reports that users were able to “edit” information and its application to the EU for certificate recognition being delayed due to gaps in submissions to the authorities at Brussels.
The UK offers a “release” option with a test on Day 5, which often costs in the vicinity of 100 pounds. That is not an option in India.
The regulations are unclear about what happens to UK nationals who may have taken Covishield. There is also no clarity on the fate of Indian nationals residing in the UK and who may have taken UK vaccines.

The steps follow UK’s refusal to accept India’s CoWin vaccination certificates, already though they accepted Covishield vaccine.
After discussions between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his new UK style Liz Truss, technical experts from UK and India sat together to estimate the technology of CoWin. Chief of National Health Authority (NHA) R S Sharma said India had brought CoWin in line with WHO norms by adding a “date of birth” option on the certificate, particularly for international travellers.
The understanding on the Indian side was that this step had met a meaningful need by the UK. But there has been no change in the UK stand. UK officials had indicated that a resolution may take some time.
The first meeting between UK and Indian officials was on September 2, the second on September 21.
“The overall policy framework will be in consultation with the MEA; they are the ones who are our confront or who are the ones talking to them (the UK officials). As far as we are concerned, we have lent an ear to them and they are also convinced that certificate is not an issue. We have had two meetings with them and they have clearly told us that the certificate course of action is not the issue,” Sharma was quoted saying afterwards.
The idea of the meetings was to be able to harmonise the two systems, allowing India and UK to be able to validate each other’s data.



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