Travel agents receive inquiries from Indians interested in going to the UK for the Covid-19 vaccine
Travel agents have started receiving inquiries from Indians who want to travel to the UK as soon as possible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine that was approved by the British government on Wednesday.
A travel agent is planning to launch a three-night package for Indians who want to benefit from the mass vaccination campaign in the UK that is likely to start next week.
On Wednesday, the UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 after a “rigorous” analysis by its independent regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). A Mumbai-based travel agent told PTI that some people raised questions on Wednesday about “how, when and if” they can travel to the UK to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. “I have told you that it is too early to say (if Indians can get vaccinated in the UK). Anyway, the first in line to receive the vaccine would be the elderly and health workers in the UK who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus, “added the agent.
Nishant Pitti, Co-Founder and CEO of EaseMyTrip.com, said that while this is an unconventional season to travel to London, after Wednesday’s announcement about the Pfizer vaccine, he has already received inquiries from some Indians who obtained UK visas and they can afford to go to London.
He said his company was waiting for the UK government to clarify whether there would be mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers who want to get vaccinated and whether Indian passport holders are eligible for vaccination there or not.
Pitti said his company plans to launch a three-night package for those interested in traveling to the UK just for the purpose of getting vaccinated. “We are dealing with an airline to offer fixed price seats. We already have deals with hotels in London. And we are planning to make a deal with a hospital there so that we can generate a package for that, “he explained.
Recent UK government rules state that as of December 15, each international arrival to the UK would have to remain in self-isolation for five days and then have the RT-PCR test done on the sixth day. The passenger can come out of isolation on the sixth day if COVID is found negative in the test. On Wednesday, a Bangalore-based travel company said Indians are asking if a short trip, without quarantine, to the UK to receive the Pfizer vaccine is possible.
However, Jyoti Mayal, president of the Association of Travel Agents of India (TAAI) told PTI that people are right now “waiting and watching” because they want to know what the vaccine will look like. “Although the government has said there will be no side effects from the vaccine, people want to see all of this before they get the injection,” Mayal noted.