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COVID-19 Travel Guidelines: Indian government removes curbs on UK nationals arriving in India

Guidelines which were issued on February 17 will now be applicable for all UK nationals travelling to India.

October 13, 2021 / 04:20 PM IST
Representative Image (Image: Shutterstock)

Representative Image (Image: Shutterstock)


Reciprocal travel curbs that were issued by the Centre for travellers arriving from the United Kingdom has now been withdrawn by the government. Guidelines which were issued on February 17 will now be applicable for all UK nationals travelling to India.

"Revised guidelines for UK nationals arriving in India issued on October 1, 2021, stand withdrawn, and earlier guidelines on international arrival dated February 17, 2021, shall be applicable for those arriving in India from the UK", said the Ministry of Health, on October 13.

On October 1, the Centre had decided to impose reciprocal travel curbs, including mandatory quarantine, for travellers arriving from the UK. The stringent rules were applicable from October 4 for all UK nationals arriving in the country, irrespective of their vaccination status.

India took this decision after the UK recognised Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India but retained the 10-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers from India.

However, on October 7, UK decided to scrap quarantine for all Indian travellers fully vaccinated with Covishiled or any other vaccine recognized by the UK government. Thus now, India has also relaxed the stringent curbs it had imposed.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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What are the guidelines now? 

As mentioned in the order issued by the Ministry of Health, guidelines that were announced on February 17 of this year will now be applicable for all travellers from the United Kingdom.  According to February 17 travel advisory:

  • All international travellers coming/transiting from flights originating from the United Kingdom must submit a self-declaration Form (SDF) for COVID
    on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel and will be required to declare their travel history (of past 14 days).

  • All the passengers arriving from United Kingdom must carry a negative
    RT-PCR Test report for which test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The same also shall be uploaded on the online portal.

You can read the detailed list of guidelines here.
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