Smacks of racism: Ramesh, Tharoor slam UK's COVID-19 travel rules
Former Union ministers Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor on Monday slammed the UK's COVID-19-related travel rules under which Indians vaccinated with Covishield would still be treated as unvaccinated. Notably, tweeting on the restrictions, Congress leader Ramesh said, "Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism."
Here is what Ramesh tweeted
Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism. https://t.co/GtKOzMgydf— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) September 20, 2021
Here is what UK's new travel rule says
Passengers who aren't recognized as fully vaccinated with authorized vaccines and certificates under England's international travel rules, including Indians, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test, and self-isolate for 10 days upon entry, according to rules.
Offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine: Tharoor
Tagging a thread on Twitter that explained the rules, Tharoor slammed the restrictions on vaccinated Indians. He said, "Because of this I have pulled out of a debate at the @cambridgeunion & out of launch events for the UK edition of my book #TheBattleOfBelonging (published there as #TheStruggleForIndiasSoul). It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing!"
Here is what the tweet by Tharoor said
Some of us are stuck - I’m flying out next week and will quarantine and pay for day 2, day 5, and day 8 tests. Students suffer the most … if only the government had pursued this earlier in the summer.— Aryan D’Rozario (@aryandrozario) September 20, 2021
India is currently on amber list in UK
From October, the current traffic light system of red, amber, and green countries based on levels of COVID-19 risk will be scrapped in the UK and replaced with one red list only. The scrapping of an amber list, which is what India is currently on, means a reduced cost burden for travelers—especially for the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK—related to compulsory PCR tests.
Indian vaccines are not recognized in England so far
An expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognized in England does not include India, which means that Indians vaccinated with Covishield—the Serum Institute of India produced Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine—would still be subjected to the restrictions mandatory for those unvaccinated. Notably, several Twitter users, many of them students, also criticized the UK government's decision on the new travel COVID-19 rules.
Thousands of students are suffering due to this: Indian student
Tagging Ramesh's tweet, one of the users tweeted, "Thousands of UK-bound Indian students are suffering due to this bizarre approach." Meanwhile, another user tweeted, "Some of us are stuck-I'm flying out next week and will quarantine and pay for day 2, day 5, and day 8 tests. Students suffer the most ... if only the government had pursued this earlier in the summer."