KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The United Kingdom will recognise Covid-19 vaccines authorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for international travellers from November 22, including China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm, and India’s Covaxin.
The UK government said in guidance published yesterday that Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Covaxin would be added to the UK’s list of approved coronavirus vaccines, which previously only listed Western-made shots Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — for inbound travel to England.
WHO announced last November 3 that it has listed Covaxin, India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, for emergency use.
UK Health and Social Secretary Sajid Javid and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the new vaccine authorisations would benefit travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and India.
Passengers from over 135 approved countries who are fully vaccinated with any of the approved coronavirus vaccines will be exempted from a pre-departure Covid-19 test, a Day 8 test, and 10-day quarantine upon arrival in England. Travellers only need to pay for a Covid-19 test on Day Two after arrival.
All travellers aged under 18 years coming to England will also be treated as fully vaccinated and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements upon arrival, Day 8 testing, and pre-departure testing. Minors will only be required to take one post-arrival test and confirmatory free PCR test if they test positive.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, upon concluding a memorandum of understanding on health cooperation during UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss’ visit to Malaysia yesterday, tweeted that Malaysia was ready to reciprocate the UK’s move of expanding its list of approved Covid-19 vaccines for travel.
He said Malaysia would start discussions on a vaccinated travel lane for fully vaccinated travellers from the UK with quarantine exemptions under a “test and release” protocol.