Indian political leaders slam UK’s new Covid travel policy; say it smacks of racism

Indian politicians Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh, both belonging to the opposition Congress party,  Monday spoke out against the UK government’s decision to consider people vaccinated in India, Africa, South America and several other countries as unvaccinated, and make them go through a 10-day quarantine

Sep 20, 2021
Image
Indian politicians Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh

Indian politicians Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh, both belonging to the opposition Congress party,  Monday spoke out against the UK government’s decision to consider people vaccinated in India, Africa, South America and several other countries as unvaccinated, and make them go through a 10-day quarantine. Tharoor has pulled put of a debate at Cambridge Union and withdrawn from the events for the launch of the UK edition of his book “The Battle of Belonging”, The Indian Express reported. 

Quoting a thread of tweets by UK news analyst Alex Macheras, Tharoor, a former junior foreign minister and UN undersecretary general, wrote: “Because of this I have pulled out of a debate at the @cambridgeunion & out of launch events for the UK edition of my book #TheBattleOfBelonging (published there as #TheStruggleForIndiasSoul). It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing!”

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh too termed the country’s new travel policy “absolutely bizarre”. Quoting the same thread, he wrote: “Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism.”

In a tweet thread from two days ago, Macheras wrote about the UK’s latest travel policy: “UK government confirm tonight that if a person has been vaccinated in Africa, or South America, or countries including UAE, India, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia… you are considered “unvaccinated” and must follow “unvaccinated” rules = 10 day home quarantine & tests.”

Under the new rules, people from India flying to the UK have to undergo a 10-day quarantine, during which period they will have to get tested for Covid-19.