New Delhi: As France on Saturday became the 16th European country to recognise Serum Institute of India’s (SII) COVID-19 vaccine Covishield as a valid vaccine for international travellers, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SII, Adar Poonawalla took to Twitter to expressed his happiness. Poonawalla said that it was indeed good news that Covishield has been recognised by 16 European countries now. However, he also cautioned travellers to follow travel advisories that differ from country to country.
“It is indeed good news for travellers, as we see sixteen European countries recognising Covishield as an acceptable vaccine for entry. However, despite being vaccinated, entry guidelines might vary from country to country, so do read up before you travel,” tweeted Adar Poonawalla.
Meanwhile, the issue of the acceptance of the Covishield vaccine as proof of immunisation for travel to the European Union Member States has been in discussion after several countries in the block have refused to recognise the vaccine. Additionally, the Indian government has been pushing European Union member countries to recognise both Covishield and Covaxin in order to ease travel for the people of the nation.
The 16 European countries that have recognised Covishield are – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland with the latest country to recognise it is France.
On Saturday, France lifted travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers. “Fully vaccinated travellers are no longer subject to restrictions to travel to or from France, whatever the country of departure. We nonetheless strongly advise against travel from France to countries on the “red” list,” read France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs travel advisory.