Monday 4 October 2021 11:36 PM UTC
By Alex Varghese
LONDON Oct 5: The UUKMA leadership has submitted a petition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Jayashankar, Health Minister Mansooq Mandavia to relax the quarantine restrictions imposed by India on travelers from the UK.
Thousands of Indians, including Malayalees, who were unable to leave the country due to lockdowns and travel restrictions that began in March 2020, have been preparing to leave the country since the October school holidays.
UUKMA president Manoj Kumar Pillai and general secretary Alex Varghese said in the petition that many of the ticket holders were returning home for two or three weeks and that most people would have to cancel their travels if the restrictions were not lifted.
India’s new restrictions have cast a shadow over expatriate UK expatriates’ desire to visit their parents, relatives and friends in the country due to lockdowns and travel restrictions over the past 17 months.
In a petition, the UUKMA leadership requested that the new restrictions be relaxed as soon as possible to allow Indians in the UK to travel.
UUKMA National Vice President Adv. Eby Sebastian, who is at present in India, has been nominated to liaise on this matter with the Indian authorities.
India has decided to impose reciprocal measures on UK nationals arriving in India from the UK as as United Kingdom has so far not recognised CoWIN certificate. New regulations came into effect from October 4, and is applicable to all UK nationals arriving from the UK.
From October 4, all UK nationals arriving in India from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undertake – pre-departure Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travel, RT-PCR test on arrival at airport, RT-PCR test on Day 8 after arrival.
Despite their vaccination status, all passengers from the United Kingdom will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in India. In addition, they will need to produce the result of the RT-PCR test done within 72 hours before travel. After their arrival and on day 8, they will have to take the RT-PCR tests again. The mandatory quarantine can be done at home or at the destination address. These new rules are exactly in line with UK’s travel rules.
According to the UK rules, Indian travellers who have received both doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will be considered unvaccinated and will have to undergo self-isolation for 10 days.
There was widespread condemnation of the UK’s decision in India to not cover Covishield under the reviewed international travel norms and the government on Tuesday warned of “reciprocal measures” if its concerns relating to the vaccine certification are not addressed by October 4 when these norms come into effect.
The Indian government had said it is working with several countries to recognise India’s vaccine certification on a “mutual reciprocal basis”.
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