Saturday, October 02, 2021

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

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 process.

Government sources said the ministry of health and family welfare will issue new regulations that will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving in India, regardless of their vaccination status. 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 process.

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 extra 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 added 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 process with its digital signature and QR code was far more reliable than measures adopted in many other nations.

02/10/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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