Booster jab: Gillian Keegan discusses travel advice
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The global travel industry has seen an uptick in foot traffic since the successful roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Currently, most countries have more liberal entry requirements for visitors who have received two doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine than for those who are unvaccinated.
However, in the future, it seems some nations may require tourists to have had a booster jab in order to visit.
A third booster Covid jab is currently being rolled out across the UK, specifically for those who are over the age of 50, a health or care professional, or considered a “vulnerable” person.
The UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has approved the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines for use as a booster.
According to Minister of State for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care Gillian Keegan people who have had two doses are currently considered fully vaccinated but she added that this will “evolve over time”.
This evolution could have a knock-on effect for “vaccine passports”, allowing people to enter nations around the world without self-isolation.
At the time of writing, many countries allow visitors to enter if they have received a full course of vaccination which typically means two jabs.
However, once the booster vaccine is more widely accessible, it could mean fully vaccinated only applies to those who have had the third jab.
When asked about whether a booster jab will be needed for travel, Ms Keegen said: “It’s two doses for now but I’m sure the vaccine passport concept will evolve and there will be ‘if you’ve had your booster etcetera’ because it’s not probably going to be good for next summer.”
European nations including Spain and France are already distributing a booster jab to select groups of people.
For now, the UK is maintaining that fully vaccinated means people who have received two doses of an approved jab,
But some nations have already begun to add clauses that mean a booster jab could be required in the future.
Which counties may require a booster vaccine for entry next summer?
Austrian authorities have stated that vaccine certificated are only valid for one year.
Visitors to Austria must have received their full course of Covid vaccination within 360 days in order to enter the country without quarantine.
According to the Austrian Tourism website: “The vaccine certificate is valid for 360 days after the second dose for two-dose vaccines.
“In people with a past infection and one vaccination, it is valid for 360 days after that one dose.
“If you have had a third/additional/booster vaccination, it is valid for 360 days from the third jab.
“For vaccines that require only one dose, it is valid from the 22nd day for 270 days from vaccination.”
Croatia initially stated that COVID-19 vaccine certificates would only be valid for nine months after people receive their jab.
The nation was one of the first to place a time limit on vaccine validity.
In the early summer, it stressed that all passengers would be prohibited from entering Croatia without showing a negative result of PCR or antigen test if more than 210 days had passed since travellers received the second dose of a Covid jab.
However, this date has since been extended to one year.
According to Swiss authorities, people who have been vaccinated with an approved jab are able to enter however “this applies for a period of 12 months from the date of complete vaccination”.
This means vaccine passes are only valid for one year under the current entry rules.
Vietnam (Phu Quoc island)
Vietnam has announced plans to reopen the popular resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign visitors in late November in a bid to boost tourism after two years of closure.
However, only those who have received their full course of Covid vaccine more than 14 days prior, but no more than 12 months, are able to enter.
Under these guidelines, it m
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