The UK government has decided to add Covaxin to the list of approved vaccines for inbound travel from November 22. Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner for India announced the development through a tweet that read, “… From 22 November travellers fully vaccinated with a #COVID19 vaccine recognised by @WHO for Emergency Use Listing, including Covaxin, will not have to self-isolate; so joining those fully vaccinated with Covishield.”
Updated travel guidelines on the UK government website stated, “From 4am on Monday 22 November, the government will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and India.” Covaxin received WHO’s EUL on November 3. Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the vaccine had been providing data to the global health body on a rolling basis.
Indians vaccinated with Covaxin will also not have to undergo any mandatory quarantine upon arrival. The statement on the UK government website read, “Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and have received their vaccine certificate from one of over 135 approved countries and territories are not required to take a pre-departure test, day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, passengers will just need to pay for a lateral flow test to take before the end of their second day, post-arrival.”
Earlier in October, the British authorities, after a tit-for-tat travel restriction by India, accepted Indian vaccine certificates as valid and waived off the mandatory quarantine rule for Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield.