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Quarantine free travel for travellers with approved Covid vaccines including Sinopharm

Quarantine free travel to passengers bound to the UK who have taken the Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covaxin jabs can travel quarantine-free to Britain starting at 4 am on November 22.

Last Monday, the British government announced that they would update the list of UK approved vaccine list for travel from UAE later this month.

A joint statement issued by the UK Departments of Transport and Health and Social Care mentioned that from 4 am on Monday, November 22, the UK government will accept vaccines on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). This means that the Sinovac, Covaxin, and Sinopharm vaccines travel will be added to its UK approved vaccine list for travel to the UK. The government says this will benefit people travelling from countries such as the United Arab Emirates. 

Additionally, “The US also recognises the vaccines on the WHO EUL for inbound travel,” added to the statement.

The approved vaccines list currently includes Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Moderna and Janssen (J&J).

The UK government said that, from November 22, all under-18 passengers bound to England would be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be clear from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day eight testing and pre-departure testing. 

However, they will be required to take a post-arrival test and a confirmatory free PCR test if they turn out to test positive.

The new changes are among the liberal travel regulations announced by the British government following the global lockdowns in March 2020.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that as they continue to recover from the pandemic and expand the recognition of global vaccines, today’s announcements mark the next step in the restart of international quarantine free travel.

He also added that “By also simplifying the rules for international travel for all under-18s coming to England, we’re bringing further good news for families looking to unite with loved ones and another great boost for the travel sector.” 

Meanwhile, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said that the announcement is another step forward for the travel industry, businesses and for family and friends wanting to re-join or go abroad. However, the red list and quarantine free travel system remain essential in protecting the borders and that they will not hesitate to take action by adding countries to the red list if needed.

The WHO EUL Procedure was brought in during the 2014 Ebola outbreak to assess vaccines for use and support which countries require vaccinations and other selected medical products during public health emergencies.

The expansion covers Sinovac, Sinopharm and Covaxin to the WHO EUL, and around 1 billion doses of these vaccines have been delivered worldwide.


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