The United Kingdom (UK) has relaxed COVID-19-related travel restrictions for India moving the country from its "red" to "amber" list. This means fully vaccinated flyers from India will no longer be subjected to mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine.
The UK on Wednesday updated its latest COVID travel update for certain countries with effect from August 8. As per Britain's traffic light system for international travel, returning from countries under "amber" list means a 10-day quarantining at home. The announcement has come as a relief for the Indian diaspora in the UK, who had been calling for the relaxation of travel rules between India and Britain.
"The UAE, Qatar, India and Bahrain will be moved from the red list to the amber list. All changes come into effect Sun 8th August at 4 a.m.," UK Transport Secretary tweeted.
"While it's right we continue our cautious approach, it's great news to open more destinations for people wanting to connect with families, friends and businesses across the globe, all thanks to our successful domestic vaccination programme," he said.
Under the legal rules for countries on the amber list, passengers must take a COVID-19 test three days before departure and book in advance for two COVID tests to be taken upon arrival in England as well as complete a passenger locator form on arrival.
On arrival in England, passengers must quarantine at home or in the place they have confirmed as their location for 10 days and take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight.
Under-18 and those fully vaccinated in the UK are exempt from the home quarantine, as well as those who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union and US.
Also exempt are those "fully vaccinated in the UK or under the UK vaccine programme overseas; under 18 on the day, you arrive in England and resident in the UK or in a country with a vaccination programme approved by the UK and part of a UK-approved vaccine trial".
Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, is likely to be covered under this exemption.
The update of the travel list came alongside an announcement that the cost for solo travellers from destinations still on the red list staying at a quarantine hotel will go up from August 12, from GBP 1,750 to GBP 2,285.
The charge for an additional adult sharing a room will increase from GBP 650 to GBP 1,430.
According to the government, this is to "better reflect the increased costs involved". Meanwhile, seven countries are moving to the green list - Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway - and France has been moved off the "amber watchlist".
For countries on the green list, people will not have to quarantine when returning from these nations, regardless of their vaccination status, although they will have to take a pre-departure test and another one two days after arrival.Four countries will be put on the red list: Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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