As Covishield awaits European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval and Covaxin is waiting for approval from the World Health Organization,
Few European countries have started recognising these two vaccines so that when the countries withdraw the travel ban on India, Indians vaccinated with either of these two vaccines do not face any problem.
As on date countries that accept Covishield are Austria Estonia Germany Greece Ireland Netherlands Slovenia Spain
Apart from these countries which are part of the European Union, Switzerland and Iceland have also accepted Covishield as valid for travel purposes.
Reports have claimed that Finland and Latvia too have approved Covishield.
Estonia has approved both Covishield and Covaxin.
From July 1, the green pass is being implemented by all 27 member states of the EU and their neighbours Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EU legislation governing the certificate will initially last a year.
The rules for testing and quarantining have not yet been made uniform by all EU states, with some requiring a PCR or lateral flow COVID-19 test between 24 to 72 hours prior to arrival, AFP reported. At present, EU does not accept antibody tests but this decision will be up for review in four months.
EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said all member states were expected to be ready to implement the green pass on July 1, except Ireland, which was hit by a cyber-attack targeting its health service in May.
The green pass is a digital pass with a QR code that can be saved on one’s smartphone or tablet or printed on paper for scanning by authorities. AFP reported that the design provides each user with a unique digital signature, which connects to their COVID-19 data.
On privacy concerns, EU member states have said they will only collect data which is “strictly necessary” to oversee safe travel and this data will not be transmitted between countries or retained once verified.
As per EMA’s new guidelines, those in possession of green pass and belonging to EU will not have to quarantine once they arrive at their destination. Members wishing to impose quarantines will have to inform fellow member-states at least 48 hours in advance.
It mentioned that people vaccinated with either of the four vaccines Comirnaty of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Vaxzervria by AstraZeneca-Oxford and, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen will be allowed to travel in EU countries.
Since the name of Covishield was not mentioned on the list, while its equivalent Vaxzervria was mentioned, a row erupted apprehending that Indians vaccinated with Covishield and Covaxin will not be able to travel to European countries.
The European Union clarified that the green pass is not for outside travellers.
Vaccine is not yet mandatory for international travel. Negative RT-PCR test report, followed by quarantine according to local rules, remain the standard of allowing outside travellers.
Serum Institute of India has said it has applied for EMA approval which is supposed to take about a month.
India has urged EU member nations to individually recognise Covishield and Covaxin and treat vaccinated Indians on par with those vaccinated in EU countries.
According to MEA sources request comes with a diplomatic push that if Covishield and Covaxin are not recognised in EU countries, then people with EU vaccines will also not get quarantine exemption in India.
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