Britain moves to recognise Covid-19 shots from China and India for visitors

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – China and India’s Covid-19 vaccines have been approved by Britain for travel into the country, clearing the way for tourists and foreign students who have been fully immunised with them to enter.

Immunisations from China’s Sinovac Biotech, state-owned Sinopharm, and India’s Bharat Biotech have joined the list that Britain uses to grant entry with proof of full vaccination, according to a notice issued by the Department for Transport and Department of Health and Social Care on Monday (Nov 22).

Now all seven Covid-19 shots that have received emergency backing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be recognised by Britain, including India’s Covaxin, which got the agency’s nod early this month.

Britain is following Australia, which last month expanded the number of shots it recognises, and the United States, which said it would accept all WHO-approved vaccines when it opened its borders to foreign travellers this month.

The British decision should allow tens of thousands of Chinese students given home-grown shots to attend school there.

Universities have received record numbers of undergraduate applications from Chinese nationals, according to an October report released by The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, a British universities admission service provider.

Sinovac and Sinopharm shots are the most widely used in China, which has vaccinated more than 80 per cent of its 1.4 billion population.

China accounts for the majority of foreign students in Britain, and their families contribute significant revenue to universities there every year, data from Britain’s Higher Education Statistics Agency shows.

More than 4,500 Chinese students applied for undergraduate admission to colleges and universities in Britain this year, an increase of about one-third since the global Covid-19 pandemic began.

Visitors to Britain who are not fully vaccinated are required to get Covid-19 tests and quarantine for 10 days.

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