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The relaxations come with riders but following India’s constant push to allow Indians and to recognise Covishield and Covaxin, several countries eased curbs on Indians this week.
Following diplomatic push, several countries have now eased travel restrictions on passengers from India. This week, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Spain have relaxed their international travel rules for Indians and people travelling from India. While these relaxations do not mean that every Indian can fly to these destinations, some Indians will be allowed to travel.
The United Kingdom has moved India from the ‘Red’ to ‘Amber’ list which means fully vaccinated Indians will not have to be quarantined for 10 days. But before travelling to the UK, vaccinated individuals too will have to take tests — three days before the scheduled travelling date and then on or before day 2 after reaching the destination.
Now, Covaxin and Covishield are not recognised by the UK government. So how does moving India from the Red to Amber list help? Unvaccinated Indians will have to quarantine for 10 days. They will have to take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and then again on or after day 8.
India was on the Red List of the UK, going by which no Indians were allowed to visit the UK directly from India. Now, Indians are allowed in the UK but Indians may not get the waiver for the vaccinated individuals since UK has not recognised Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V.
The change will be effective from August 8.
Spain has opened the doors for fully vaccinated Indians. Covishield is a recognised vaccine in Spain. Indian travellers must have a Schengen visa or apply for a Spanish visa, the new advisory said. Only the Delhi centre to process visa applications has opened.
The United Arab Emirates have allowed people to fly from India but they have to fall into specific categories, identified by the UAE authorities. UAE residents, students, professionals working for UAE government agencies are allowed to travel back to the UAE from India. Transit passengers with negative RT-PCR reports are also allowed to travel from India. In the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, the UAE barred all flights from India. It even disallowed UAE residents stuck in India to come back, as only diplomats were allowed to fly.