A flurry of meetings: Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane arrived in Britain on Monday on a two-day visit through which he will have intensive talks with his counterpart and with senior military leaders. Gen Naravane is scheduled to meet UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter and the Chief of General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith. The Army Chief will then proceed on a visit to Italy.
Hope floats: An agreement reached on freeing the ship Ever Given will mean freedom for several of the ship’s Indian crew members. Two had been allowed to return earlier due to personal circumstances, but most others remained stranded with the ship that was seized by Suez authorities who sought compensation from the ship’s owners. The compromise deal was not announced.
Germany to lift ban on Indian travellers: Germany is lifting its ban on entry of Indian citizens. Germany is reclassifying India, Britain, Nepal, Russia and Portugal so that nationals from these countries can come in, and not just German citizens from there. But all arrivals will have to go through a due checks-and-quarantine process. This may well clear the way for a similar end of the red-listing of India in Britain.
European nations guarded about letting Brits in: A number of European countries are likely to be moved to the UK’s green list this month. But it is less certain if they move Britain to their equivalent of a green list, given the sharp rise in cases in Britain. Britain is easing its lockdown in view of the extensive vaccination but that easing does not mean the end of all international travel restrictions; those will be considered and decided separately. Germany has said it will let in British nationals who have had a double vaccination but not all EU member states may follow.
Tests may see fuller stadiums: The ending of all Covid restrictions from July 19 will mean that the India-England Test matches are likely to be played to full houses. The rush for remaining tickets has begun already after the announcement on Monday. Football matches and Wimbledon have seen capacity crowds already. Cricket is next, but with warnings in the face of rising cases going by present trends. The first Test is to start on August 4.
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