India slaps reciprocal restrictions on visiting UK nationals

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India on Friday decided to impose reciprocal Covid-19 restrictions on UK nationals arriving in the country.

According to sources, the new regulations will come into effect from October 4 – the same day as the UK’s new rules, and will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving from the UK.

Citing the restrictions, a source said that from October 4 onwards, all UK nationals arriving in India from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undertake mandatory measures, such as carrying the report of pre-departure Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel, and undergo Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at any airport in India.

They are also expected to go for mandatory quarantine at home or at the destination address for 10 days after arrival in India, and on the 8th day after their arrival, will have to take a second RT-PCR test.

The sources also said that the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Civil Aviation have been asked to strictly enforce the new measures and adequate arrangements must be made at all international airports for this purpose.

Before issuing these mandatory Covid-19 restrictions for travellers from the UK, India had given a warning to UK authorities that it would be well within its rights to initiate reciprocal measures if the UK does not ease the new travel rules relating to Covid-19 vaccine certification for Indian nationals.

The row between the two countries started when the UK government placed Indians, who have been vaccinated with Covishield – the Indian-made AstraZeneca Covid vaccine – in the category of “unvaccinated” and prescribed testing and quarantine measures but after India hinted that this might be reciprocated, the UK accepted Covishield but did not change the testing and quarantine rules.

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