Belgium recognises Covishield vaccine, allows student travel from India

Belgium has recognised the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Arnaud Lion, Belgium’s Aambassador to India, said that since India falls under category 3 in Belgium – which means it will only allow essential travel – students from India will be considered to travel to Belgium, according to news agency ANI.

Lion said that 400 long-stay visas have been issued so far to students in India. Indians vaccinated with Covishield will still have to undergo an RT-PCR test in Belgium. Only after they test negative, they will be exempted from quarantine.

“Covishield is one of the main vaccines, which was, is and will be used under the Covax facility. Covishield will be used not only in India or in neighbouring countries, but also all over the world. You cannot isolate a country,” Lion was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“India comes under Category III, which means we only allow essential travel from countries under that category. Hence students will be considered under essential travel. Since Monday, we have delivered over 100 long-stay visas in Delhi and 300 of these visas in Mumbai,” he added.

Earlier, the Belgian embassy in India announced that it has recognised Covishield via a tweet. The Netherlands approved Covishield earlier this week for travellers. These two nations join Switzerland, Iceland and seven European Union countries that have recognised Covishield. Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia and Spain have recognised the SII-manufactured vaccine. The Estonian government said that they recognise all the vaccines approved by the Government of India.

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