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Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield or any other UK-approved vaccine traveling to the UK will not have to undergo quarantine from Monday (October 11), British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said on Thursday.
Ellis tweeted, "No quarantine for Indian travelers to the United Kingdom fully vaccinated with Covishield or other UK-approved vaccines from October 11. Thanks to the Indian government for close cooperation over last month."
The UK travel advisory had earlier made 10-day quarantine mandatory for Indian travelers, who have received both doses of Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). However, after facing criticism for different quarters, the UK travel advisory has accommodated Covishield as an approved vaccine in the UK.
The new travel advisory that was implemented on October 4 said, "Formulations of the listed vaccines -- Astra Zeneca Covishield, Astra Zeneca Vaxzevira and Moderna Takeda -- qualify as approved vaccines."
In response to the UK quarantine rules for Indians, India also imposed a 10-day mandatory quarantine for UK nationals arriving in India from October 4 onwards. The move came as reciprocity of the UK's decision that people vaccinated with Covishield in India will have to meet the strict mandatory quarantine rules while visiting the UK.
"The measures announced today mark the next step as we continue to open up travel and provide stability for passengers and industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good," Britain's Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, tweeted.
The British High Commissioner to India also thanked the Indian government for cooperation over last month. As the UK has now eased the travel restrictions for vaccinated Indians to the UK, India may also take steps to reciprocate and ease the present restrictions imposed on UK travelers to India. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Coronavirus, Covishield, Quarantine, India, UK
In a major reform of the state-dominated economy, the Cuban government will allow small private businesses to operate in most fields, eliminating its limited list of activities, state-run media reported on Saturday.
The measure, coming as the Caribbean island seeks to recover from an economic slump, will expand the field from 127 activities to more than 2,000 Labor Minister Marta Elena Feito Cabrera was quoted as saying. She spoke at a council of ministers meeting that approved the policy.
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She said there would be 124 exceptions, but the media reports provided no details.
Reform-minded Cuban economists have long called for the role of small business to be expanded to help jump-start the economy and to create jobs.
The Cuban economy has stagnated for years and contracted by 11% last year, due to a combination of the coronavirus pandemic that devastated tourism and tough U.S. sanctions. Cubans have been dealing with a scarcity of basic goods and endless lines to obtain them.
The crisis has forced a series of long-promised but stalled reforms, from the devaluation of the peso and reorganization of the monetary system to some deregulation of state businesses and foreign investment.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel said last year the country faced an international and local crisis and would implement a series of reforms to increase exports, cut imports and stimulate domestic demand.
He said the measures would include “the improvement of the non-state sector, with immediate priority in the expansion of self-employment and removal of obstacles.”
The non-state sector – not including agriculture with its hundreds of thousands of small farms, thousands of cooperative and day laborers – is composed mainly of small private businesses and cooperatives; their employees, artisans, taxi drivers, and tradesmen.
The labor minister said there were more than 600,000 people in the sector, some 13% of the labor force. They are all designated as self-employed and an estimated 40% depend mainly on the tourism industry or work in public transportation.
Over the last six months, the government has also moved to grant access to wholesale markets for small businesses and import and export, though only through state companies. (VOA)
BY SALIL GEWALI
When uncertainty and worries come calling, the body’s immune system crashes. But contrastingly, one believes, COVID-19 is fought only with better immunity. It’s an accepted fact that due to the pandemic, the large majority of the weaker section of people are in the most difficult situation. Their financial hardship is beyond our understanding. Each poor person is now in a situation that he/ she has very a painful tale to tell so far as his/her day-to-day livelihood is concerned. Therefore, people in poverty might feel totally lost and disoriented when they are suddenly picked up and sent for the quarantine away from home.
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I don’t want to dwell much on the medical formalities which I find less important here. But what one is really concerned about is the “psychological” aspect of people and how that really affects their immune system while battling the Wuhan virus.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: यह है वीर गाथा ‘तक्षक’ की
Many families’ members I have met with have expressed their deep sense of “grief” when their breadwinners or family members are taken away or asked for immediate isolation. The poor persons in the isolation have a whole load of family worries, more precisely, about whether the family is able to get the two-time meals and other basic essentials for their children and wives. Practically there is no one to “support” their family members when they are in quarantine or at COVID care centers. They also don’t have enough space at home for quarantine as the family members live in one or two rooms. These all factors add to their anxieties in many ways. So, in this worrying situation, they obviously have a “low level” of immunity, with the exception of a few rare cases. I wish the Government to look into the “psychological aspect” of an individual/patient. Truly, the physical metabolism and immune system of a human body go down when one is psychologically “depressed”. A resident of Meghalaya laments – “Due to quarantine isolation my aged father, who had returned from Kolkata, experienced deep depression which consequently gave rise to other health complications. Thankfully, he was in home quarantine, and we could immediately call a private doctor for the other treatment and anxiety counseling.” What if that aged person were taken far away from home for the quarantine? Many unfortunate things could have been possible. Covid-19 “negative” could have been “positive” next day, and thereafter deterioration of health due isolation depression and then directly to the crematorium — without any contacts with the beloved family members! This is regular phenomenon now.
Well, if we do not take the potential traumatic aspect of an individual’s mental status into account then all our arrangement and mission to fight the virus “without vaccines” is totally inadequate and farcical. This is my personal observation. Hence, with all seriousness, I appeal to the Governments, health authorities and medical experts to take the “mental health aspect” of any individual in quarantine or Covid Care Center into consideration. With the fatality is increasing by the day, the consequence ahead could be more serious. COVID, coupled with “depression” and the loss of immunity, can easily take a toll on the entire humanity.
An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into Twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA.
Europe used to be a pleasurable destination for most tourists but that has changed recently all thanks to the pandemic. Just coming out of the lockdown, the traveling, tourism, and transport industry is beginning to pick up. Now you can successfully plan your journey by engaging sites like firebirdtours.com. And wouldn’t it be awesome to know that the scheduled travel programs are COVID 19 compliant?
Organizing tours to Europe was fun until Corona-virus happened. Then people began to realize that health and safety matters above anything else. Governments in order to forestall the threat of the plague on the lives of their citizens installed safety measures. Such safety measures included border closures, quarantine measures, and social distancing. Understandably, these helped to curb the spread of the pandemic worldwide and dispel fears.
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Well, you can agree that the Travelling and Tourism Industry is the worst hit due to the pandemic. On the other hand, the pandemic made tourist firms set up applications to facilitate traveling and tourism. To plan and organize a European vacation now does not require a physical presence. Actually it is sufficient and convenient that you log onto a travel agency website, purchase tickets online, and make your reservations. What makes this attractive is the fact that you could plan your itinerary with accurate information about your destination.
So while you are gearing up to hit the road to begin your explorations, one thing is certain. You always have to bear in mind that most EU countries still have some form of COVID 19 policies. Countries like Georgia, Croatia, and Portugal do not require quarantine. But while Austria requires a health certificate Greece insists on a conditional quarantine. However, most European countries are free from Coronavirus.
To begin with, you have to take due diligence to ensure that you are not a carrier of coronavirus. In order to fulfill these you have to take the following measures:
Ensure that you do not overlook any symptoms or signs of flu or the common cold. Really, it is common sense that you schedule a test appointment with your doctor if you ever feel blue. Please ensure that you do not hit the road if you have any of these symptoms.
Endeavor to Pack your Essentials
At all times have with you, your hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, gloves, toothpicks, and any other material. All these are useful in combating and preventing the spread of coronavirus. Therefore at some point in your journey, you may find these handy.
Get a Medical History Certificate
Suffice to say that no one desires to be ill on a journey, yet you have to be prepared. And you can’t be overly prepared without a medical history certificate. Having this certificate explains your medical condition when undergoing medical consultations with the doctor.
You will need a Travel History Certificate
This certificate will enable the officials of these EU countries, the itinerary of these tourists. To ascertain whether or not you are a carrier especially if you are coming from a Coronavirus prone region of the world.
Always Remember to Maintain Safety Measures
It wouldn’t hurt to keep your face mask on in seemingly crowded areas. It wouldn’t hurt also to maintain the two meters of social distancing. And at the risk of overemphasizing these safety measures, don’t forget to sanitize your hands!
Going forward, tours to Europe may be organized by road (rail or bus) or by air. Using public transport or a public area requires that you follow a few guidelines outlined below.
Buy your tickets and make your reservations online.
Travelers are always advised to make ticket purchases and reservations online. This is to dispense with a physical presence and curtail the spread of Coronavirus
Ensure your obey safety regulations in a public place
Social distancing and wearing of face masks cannot be overstated here. Again wherever you are, try to obey the terminal’s safety regulations.
Most EU countries are safe from the scourge of coronavirus. But in order not to be careless with one’s health, you are required to always be responsible. This is certainly the best way to kick start your European getaway in the post COVID world !
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)