Indians jabbed with Covidshield to be considered unvaccinated in UK; Tharoor, Ramesh criticise new rules
New Delhi, Sep 20: Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh have criticised the UK's Covid-19-related travel rules which consider Indians vaccinated with Covidshield as unvaccinated.
Shashi Tharoor took Twitter to slam the UK's new rules and revealed that he was forced to cancel an event at the Cambridge Union debating society along with a few launch events of his book The Battle of Belonging.
He tweeted, "Because of this I have pulled out of a debate at the @cambridgeunion &out of launch events for the UK edition of my book #TheBattleOfBelonging (published there as #TheStruggleForIndiasSoul). It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing! [sic]"
Jairam Ramesh too came down heavily on the UK's government's new Covid-19 travel rules calling it "smacks of racism." He tweeted, "Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism. [sic]"
The vaccinated travellers from Africa, or South America, or countries including UAE, India, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia are considered unvaccinated and will have to follow quarantine rules.
They have to take a pre-departure test, further PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of arrival, and self-isolate at their given address for 10 days upon entry, according to the new rules.
The UK is scrapping the existing traffic light system of red, amber and green countries on the levels of Covid-19 risk and replacing it with one red list.
"From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status," said The UK Government on its website.
This new two-tiered system in the UK is expected to stay in place till the end of the year, with a further review planned for early in the new year. PTI