India warns of compulsory quarantine for Brits in vaccine travel spat

File: A worker sprays disinfectant inside a function hall temporarily converted into a quarantine centre in Hyderabad. AFP/Noah Seelam

NEW DELHI - New Delhi warned the UK that its citizens would face reciprocal measures over London's new "discriminatory" Covid-19 rules requiring travellers from India to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated.

England and Scotland will ease pandemic restrictions from early October, but the list of countries with approved vaccines does not include India, despite the country using a locally made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine created in Britain.

"The basic issue is that, here's a vaccine -- Covishield -- which is a licensed product of a UK company manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government," foreign minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters in New Delhi.

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Calling the non-recognition of Covishield "a discriminatory policy", he said that negotiations were underway with Britain over the new requirements.

"But if we don't get satisfaction we would be within our rights to impose reciprocal measures."

India is a major supplier of Covishield globally via the Serum Institute, the world's biggest vaccine maker.

The government plans to resume exporting Covid-19 vaccines to fulfil its commitment to the Covax programme for poorer countries from October.


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