India has requested the European Union (EU) member nations individually to permit Indians who have taken Covishield to travel to Europe. According to sources, India has asked for the nations to accept the vaccination certificates issued through the CoWIN portal. The request came after the EU relaxed travel restrictions under its 'Green Passport' programme. Reportedly, India will also issue a reciprocal policy recognising the EU digital COVID certificate. The European Union's reluctance in accepting Indian-made vaccines for its 'vaccination passport' has triggered a face-off with New Delhi
As soon as the Indian health authorities receive notification of Covaxin and Covishield being included in the EU Digital Covid Certificate, they would also exempt the people from those European nations carrying the EU Digital Covid Certificate from the compulsory quarantine.
The source said, "We have also conveyed to EU member states that India will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the EU Digital Covid Certificate," according to India TV.
Digital COVID Certificate
EU's Digital Covid certificate framework came into effect on Thursday, July 1. The purpose of this framework is to ease free travel during the pandemic. Under this, people who have taken any of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorised vaccines will be excepted from travel restrictions within the union. The certificate will prove that the person carrying it has been vaccinated, and it will be compulsory to travel to any of the 27 countries under the EU.
However, an EU official said that the member nations individually would have the power to accept vaccines authorised by WHO (Covishield) or authorised at the national level.
Apprehensions About Non-inclusion
There have been apprehensions in the country that people vaccinated with Covaxin or Covishield would probably be ineligible for travel to the EU member nations following the 'Green Pass' programme.
In a meeting with the High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell Fontelles on Tuesday, June 29 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed the inclusion of Covishield in the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme. The meeting happened on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Italy.