Britain’s so-called “Simplified” International Travel Organization launched the Amber List of Medium Covit-19 Hazardous Countries on Monday, but this will not be of any benefit to vaccinated Indians traveling to the UK.
As part of the new rules announced last month, the UK has angered India by not recognizing vaccinated Indian travelers.
India, in retaliation, requires all British travelers — regardless of vaccination status — to undergo the same level of PCR testing effective Monday and 10 days of isolation to the reported location.
“We continue to work with international partners, including India, to develop our gradual approach,” a UK government spokesman said.
The UK’s new organization includes more than 50 countries, including the United States and European Union (EU) member states and 18 countries, including Canada, Japan and the UAE. Travelers from these countries can now travel to the UK without having to complete a pre-departure test, 8th day test or 10 day self-isolation period. They only need one PCR test on the second day of arrival in the UK.
“This creates a successful pilot phase for the UK government with Europe and the United States, bringing the total number of countries in the policy range to more than 50, with more countries and territories to be added in the coming weeks,” the Department of Transportation said.
If India is not on the list of eligible countries, passengers must undergo three tests on days 2 and 8 before departure, and on the 5th day of self-isolation at the reported address, after a negative PCR test with the option of “testing for release”. This is unchanged from India’s amber list status to the status quo already in place.
About 54 travelers from countries on the red list are forced to undergo 10 days of compulsory isolation at a government-appointed hotel. At the end of this month.
From the middle of this month, the British government plans to replace PCR tests with a cheaper lateral flow test for vaccinated people. However, the timeline and details for this change are not clear.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, UK government sources said the extension of the vaccination certificate to additional countries would be considered almost every three weeks and that it would continue to work with the Indian government on the matter.
“The UK continues to work to extend this policy to countries and territories around the world. We continue to work with the Government of India on technical cooperation to extend UK accreditation to people who have been vaccinated by the relevant public. Health Organization in India,” the sources said.
“We are working with international partners and look forward to continuing the policy expansion in a one-phase approach to countries and territories around the world. Vaccine certification extension will be reviewed approximately every three weeks,” they added.
The first three-week review mark for the UK’s updated travel rules, which was first announced, will fall this weekend.
“We are rushing towards a future where travel can be safely reopened and opened for good. Today’s fate changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel industry,” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shops said Monday.
“Protecting public health is our priority, but now that more than 8 in 10 people have been fully vaccinated, we can take these steps to reduce the cost of testing and continue to help the sector recover,” he said.
All travelers coming to the UK from any country must fill out the Passenger Locator form before departure.
Meanwhile, the UK Department of Travel has welcomed the government’s latest move to ease testing and isolation restrictions.
Tim Alderslade, the UK’s chief executive representing UK carriers, said: “Things are moving in the right direction, and removing these restrictions will make it easier and cheaper for people to travel.”
However, he said the UK was “out of the test of arrivals for vaccinated passengers”.
Airlines UK hopes to see more countries removed from the red list in the next update and more mutual recognition of the vaccine status for those trapped in other countries, he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Willie Walsh, president of the International Air Transport Association, hailed the change as a “positive move”, saying the government’s testing and isolation controls were unscientific and costly.
“People have been led to believe that flying into the country is dangerous. The danger was within the country,” he said.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published by Syndicate Feed.)