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The good news is here for Indian students who want to study in UK. The United Kingdom has moved Indian from its “red” to “amber” list. Passengers from India who are Fully vaccinated with approved vaccines will no longer have to go for 10-day hotel quarantine. The change comes into effect from 4 am local time on 8th August, Sunday.

Rules to Travel to UK from India

As per UK’s traffic light system for international travel during Covid, coming from amber list countries means a 10-day quarantine at home. Here are the rules now to be followed by the Indians to travel to UK:

  • You must take a COVID test three days before departure.
  • You have to book in advance for 2 COVID tests to be taken upon arrival in the UK.
  • You have to complete a passenger locator form on arrival.
  • On arrival, you must quarantine at home or in the place you have confirmed as your location for 10 days
  • You must take a COVID-19 test on or before the second day and on or after the eighth day of quarantine.

Those who are below 18 years of age and those fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines in the UK are free from the quarantine rules. Those who are at least vaccinated with two doses of Covid vaccine in the EU and US also need not follow quarantine rules.

“Test to Release” option

Passengers from India can now quarantine at a chosen location for 10 days after arriving in the UK. If they choose the “Test to Release” scheme they can end their quarantine after 10 days. It may be possible to end quarantine early if they pay for a private COVID-19 test. Through the “Test to Release” scheme one can choose to pay for a private Covid test on day five. If the result is negative quarantine can end. The option can’t be taken unless the traveler has been in the UK for five full days.

Expectations from the Decision

The shift from red to amber status will directly impact many Indian families and students who were eagerly waiting to travel to the UK. More than 60,000 Indian students are expected to move to study in UK in the next few weeks. Now Indian students will have a big cost saving. Also, it is better for their mental well-being to quarantine on campus rather than in a hotel by themselves in a foreign country where they have just arrived.

Indian National Students Association UK president, Amit Tiwari said “We are absolutely thrilled India has come off the red list. The data shows cases have come down in India and this will really help Indian students who cannot afford these exorbitant hotel quarantine fees.”

Vaccines Accepted for UK travel

Those below 18 and those fully vaccinated in the UK are exempt from home quarantine. So are those who have received two doses of the Covid vaccine in the EU and the US. Indians arriving from India who is vaccinated with Covishield, Covaxin or Sputnik V will not be eligible for exemption from home quarantine.

Vaccines are accepted in the UK which is authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe, Swissmedic for Switzerland, or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the USA. People vaccinated with these vaccines and arriving in the UK from an Amber country will be exempt from home quarantine.

Status of other countries in the traffic light system of UK

In addition to India moving to the amber list, from 4 am on 8 August, the following countries Status in the traffic light system of the UK is also changed:

  • Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico, and Reunion is moved to the red list as there is a high public health risk to the UK
  • Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia have been moved to the green list as there is a low risk to public health.

The government spokesperson also said that the data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country’s epidemiological picture changes.

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