Covid vaccine certificate expiry date – The key check before you go on holiday

Dominic Raab discusses likelihood of vaccine passports

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Vaccine Passports have become a key component for travellers across the globe, providing a free pass from strict coronavirus testing and quarantine requirements. While rules once varied between countries, revisions by the European Commission have since introduced tighter expiry restrictions across all European Union member states. Partially vaccinated visitors will need to comply with the new time frames when travelling to the likes of France, Italy and Spain – and these are the key dates to check before you set off.

Brits seeking out half-term holidays could face a nasty surprise at the airport under new European travel restrictions.

The updated expiry date limit on Covid vaccine certificates will force partially-vaccinated visitors to update their vaccinations before travelling.

Since February 1, 2022, all European Union member states have imposed a maximum nine-month expiry date on all COVID-19 vaccine passports, leaving those who have not yet been boosted at risk of losing their holiday.

Fortunately, you can still extend your vaccine-passport validity by getting a booster jab within a certain time frame.

These are the key dates you need to know.

Which countries have the longest expiry date?

Across Europe, vaccine passports now expire within 270 days after the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

According to European Union guidelines, full vaccination is deemed to be “at least 14 days and no more than 270 days since the last dose of the primary vaccination series or if the person has received a booster dose”.

This means that Brits who received their second dose before May 2021 and have not yet had the booster dose will be regarded as unvaccinated.

The 270-day expiry period applies to all EU member states, including France and Spain – though there are tighter restrictions in some European countries.

Which countries have the shortest expiry date?

Italy is just one of the member states which has set their own expiry date.

The popular destination requires visitors from the UK to have had their final vaccine within 180 days of visiting the country.

Austria and Israel have also followed suit, implementing the same 180 day time frame.

Brits heading to any of these countries must have had their second dose of any of the approved Covid vaccines within six months of their arrival.

This means that Brits will need to have had a booster by the time they travel if they received their second vaccine before August 2021.

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What you should know before travelling to popular EU holiday destinations

Spain

Having implemented the 270-day rule, travellers must satisfy authorities with a valid vaccine certificate within the nine-month period.

Anyone who received their second dose more than nine months ago must have had a booster jab at least 14 days before travelling to be allowed in.

France

As well as abiding by the nine-month expiry rule, travellers to France must be fully vaccinated to access the country’s ‘pass sanitaire’, which is checked when you enter restaurants, museums, or use public transport.

The UK NHS Covid pass can be shown to prove your vaccination status while in the country.

Greece

People aged 18 plus are considered unvaccinated if more than seven months has passed since they received their final dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

If you want to travel by plane, train or bus within Greece, you’ll need to take a PCR test 72 hours before travel, or an antigen test 48 hours before travel.

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