UK lifts ‘all but essential’ travel advice for India as Covid-19 pressure eases

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Updated: August 17, 2021 7:25 PM

India moved from the UK's red list travel ban to amber on August 8 and now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advisory has been updated to coincide with the easing of rules.

UK essential travel advice for IndiaThe update means travellers are better placed on their travel insurance options.

The UK government on Tuesday updated its official travel advisory for India to reflect the country’s upgraded status under the COVID-19 based traffic light system, no longer advising against ‘all but essential travel’.

India moved from the UK’s red list travel ban to amber on August 8 and now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advisory has been updated to coincide with the easing of rules.

“Following the peak of India’s second COVID-19 wave in May, pressure on the Indian health care system has lifted, as the number of COVID-19 cases has fallen,” reads the FCDO update.

“A limited number of flights between India and the UK continue to operate. To book tickets and to see important guidance prior to travel you should check airline websites,” it notes.

“Before you travel, check the ‘Entry Requirements’ section for India’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider,” it adds.

The update means travellers are better placed on their travel insurance options.

Under the amber list rules, fully vaccinated British nationals returning from India no longer need to quarantine, but must arrange a pre-departure test while still in the country as well as a day two PCR test after returning home to the UK. To qualify as fully vaccinated, only UK, EU and US approved vaccines are recognised and require passengers to have had their second vaccine injection two full weeks before you travel.

Other nationals, vaccinated abroad or unvaccinated, are required to self-isolate at their declared address on the compulsory passenger locator form. They are also required to get a pre-departure PCR test and another test on day two and day eight of their entry to the UK.

Over the weekend, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid had confirmed a cut in costs of these compulsory tests and also commissioned the country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address complaints of steep prices and discrepancies in the administration of these tests.

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