UK Officially Recognizes NADRA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates

The United Kingdom (UK) government has officially granted recognition to NADRA-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates of Pakistani travelers coming to the country.

Taking to Twitter, British High Commissioner in Pakistan, Christian Turner, penned that the vaccinated Pakistani travelers with valid NADRA-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates going to the UK from 11 October will no longer be subject to quarantine rules apart from a PCR test on the second day of arrival in the UK.

However, the NADRA-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates of Pakistani travelers will be valid in the UK only for the Coronavirus vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s apex healthcare regulator, which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

On the other hand, unvaccinated Pakistani travelers or those possessing COVID-19 vaccination certificates of Coronavirus vaccines not approved by the MHRA will be subject to the “Rest of the World” (ROW) list after coming to the UK.

The recently created ROW list requires travelers coming from countries on the list to undergo certain mandatory COVID-19 safety measures irrespective of being vaccinated or unvaccinated against Coronavirus if their respective countries’ COVID-19 vaccination certificates are not recognized in the UK.

It must be noted here that Pakistan has mostly relied on Chinese COVID-19 vaccines developed by Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSinoBIO to vaccinate its citizens in the ongoing countrywide mass vaccination campaign.

Since the MHRA has not approved any of these Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, Pakistani travelers possessing Coronavirus vaccination certificates of these Chinese vaccines will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing requirements under the ROW list after arriving in the UK.

Unvaccinated Pakistani travelers or those in possession of COVID-19 vaccination certificate of non-MHRA-approved vaccines must adhere to these mandatory ROW list quarantine and testing restrictions which are:

  1. Take a PCR test within 72 hours before departing to the UK.
  2. Self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to the UK. They can end the isolation on day 5 if they test negative.
  3. Book and pay for PCR tests on days 2 and 8 after arriving in the UK.
  4. Complete a passenger locator form before landing in the UK.

Calls for Approving Chinese Vaccines

While the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved Sinopharm and Sinovac, CanSinoBIO has received a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate from the Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI).

However, these three Coronavirus vaccines are seemingly not good enough to be approved by the MHRA.

A large number of Pakistanis vaccinated with these Chinese vaccines who frequently travel between the UK and Pakistan for different purposes have called on the UK government to grant recognition to these vaccines in order to facilitate their hassle-free travel between the two countries.

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