Travellers from the UAE who have received the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine will not presently qualify for the UK’s latest relaxation of travel rules.
In an announcement on Friday that UAE travellers would be exempt from UK quarantine next month, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, stated travellers would need to be double vaccinated with an “authorised and approved” vaccine.
The UK’s official vaccine list, released on Friday, stated the vaccines approved for entry are those of AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen.
The National has asked the Foreign Office and the Department of Health and Social Care to comment on the situation.
James Cleverly, Minister for Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has said the UK is working with the UAE.
“Delighted that international travel is opening up,” he tweeted.
“We are finalising arrangements with UAE to include their nationals and residents in our plans to open up to the fully vaccinated from other countries from October 4.”
Earlier on Friday, Mr Shapps said fully vaccinated people travelling from a non-red country would no longer need to take a PCR test after arrival.
“We’re making testing easier for travel From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” he tweeted.
Travellers who have a valid vaccination certificate from any of 17 countries and territories will be treated as though they had been immunised in the UK.
People who are fully vaccinated, with one of the four approved vaccines will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning to the UK from destinations not on the red list.
The European Medicines Agency has also not yet approved Sinopharm. It is recognised for entry to only 10 European countries, including Spain and the Netherlands.