There’s been some uncertainty for travellers since the booster vaccine was introduced surrounding the question of: will I need a booster vaccine to travel? Specifically, for UK travellers the possible requirement for a booster vaccine to travel to Europe is a big question currently.

There is still some discussion going on over what different destinations will do. However, on December 21st, 2021, the European Commission agreed that Digital Covid certificates would be valid for 9 months after a traveller’s second dose, this plan to go into action on February 1st 2022.

This time span was agreed based on scientific research surrounding the added immunity the vaccine gives over time.

“This validity period takes into account the guidance of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, according to which booster doses are recommended at the latest six months after the completion of the first vaccination cycle,” the EU Commission said.

The Certificate will remain valid for a grace period of an additional three months beyond those six months to ensure that national vaccination campaigns can adjust and citizens will have access to booster doses.”

When this rule surrounding your booster vaccine to travel to Europe goes into effect on the 1st of February, it will essentially mean that adult travellers will only be allowed quarantine-free travel to Europe if:

  1. Your second dose was administered within the previous 9 months; or
  2. You have had your booster vaccine at least 14 days previous.

These restrictions will also depend in part on the destinations themselves and may vary slightly within these parameters. For this, we highly advise that all UK travellers keep an eye on the Foreign Travel Advice page for your destination to see the specific requirements for that country.

This has not been fully determined in some EU countries, but some have already set requirements into motion. For example, Austria already requires a booster vaccination for quarantine-free travel unless you have recently recovered from Covid, in which case the original two doses is sufficient.

In the Czech Republic, travellers are required to have a booster after 9 months since their second dose, and The Netherlands has confirmed they will follow this plan from February 1st. Both of these are for testing-free entry alongside quarantine-free entry.

Croatia, Greece, and Switzerland also follow the plan set by the EU Commission for quarantine-free travel.

Though this is a small change to travel, as long as you are prepared and up to date, this doesn’t have to be a stressful change. So, keep an eye out for updates and book with an expert who will keep you informed on any restrictions that apply to your destination for peace of mind as this change takes effect.

So, if you’re excited about booking your next great holiday, don’t forget to get in touch with a travel business registered with PTS and offering 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.

And, if you’d like to learn more about your consumer protection with PTS and how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and articles.

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