After much speculation over travel rules for those vaccinated by the Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured Covishield vaccine, France allowed international travellers who have had AstraZeneca's dose into the country.
With this, France has become the 14th European Union member to include Covishield in the European Union's 'Green Pass' eligibility list. Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Ireland, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and Spain have so far given green signal to the Covishield administered travellers.
'Green Pass' will allow a traveller to move without restrictions in all EU member states for work and tourism purposes. People who have been administered with any of the authorised vaccines by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would be given the pass. The digital "vaccine passport" is valid in all European countries and will serve as proof that an individual has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or has recently tested negative, or has a robust immune response against the virus from earlier infection.
SII CEO Reacts
Welcoming the decision, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said it is indeed good news for all the travellers as 16 countries recognise Covishield as an acceptable entry.
"It is indeed good news for travellers, as we see sixteen European countries recognising COVISHIELD as an acceptable vaccine for entry. However, despite being vaccinated, entry guidelines might vary from country to country, so do read up before you travel," Poonawalla tweeted.
Meanwhile, France has tightened up the security along its borders to control the spread of the delta variant and protect its hospitals.
According to a statement from the prime minister's office, unvaccinated persons arriving from Spain, Portugal, Britain, the Netherlands, Cyprus or Greece will need to present a negative Covid report less than 24 hours old to enter the country. It has also added Indonesia, Cuba, Tunisia and Mozambique to its "red list" of countries with high virus risk.