Finally falling in line after a stern warning from India, the UK government on Wednesday announced to add Covishield, the Indian-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, to an updated international travel advisory.
This comes after widespread condemnation of the Serum Institute of India manufactured vaccines not being included in a list of eligible Covid-19 vaccines recognised under Britain's reviewed international travel norms, effective from October 4.
The updated advisory means that Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield will no longer be required to undergo compulsory 10-day self-isolation at home or declared location on entry to England.
“Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines,” the new advisory from the UK's Department for Transport (DfT) and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated.
“You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England,” the advisory said.
The move will also mean that a pre-departure PCR test is no longer required as long as vaccinated travelers pre-book a day two test post-arrival in England and complete the compulsory passenger locator form in advance.
From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber, and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk will be scrapped and replaced with one red list only. However, until this latest update, Indians vaccinated with any vaccines in India – including Covishield – were not recognised as vaccinated under the UK's eligibility criteria.