After the UK announced the non-recognition of Covishield, India has referred to the move as a discriminatory policy. India, on Tuesday warned Britain of “reciprocal measures’’ if the UK didn’t address India’s concerns over its new travel rules.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said the issue had also been taken up by Foreign Minister S Jaishankar with the UK authorities. The friction point has arisen at a time when India-UK ties are seen on an upswing with the two sides working to complete a trade pact. The new rules are seen to seriously inconvenience Indian travellers.
“The basic issue is that here is a vaccine, Covishield, which is a licensed product of the UK company, manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government of UK,” said Shringla, pointing to the inconsistency in the rules announced by the British government. According to the new rules, Indian travellers who have received both doses of Covishield vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India will be considered unvaccinated and will have to self-isolate for 10 days.
“We understand that this is being used under the national health system, and, therefore, non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy and does impact those of our citizens travelling to the UK,” Shringla continued.
Sources said India will take reciprocal action against travellers from the UK if its concerns are not addressed by October 4, when the new British rules will come into effect. The foreign secretary said he has been told that certain “assurances” were being given by the UK that the issue will be resolved.