Just as many travelers are getting their second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, some countries in Europe are already setting expiry dates for the vaccine certificates.
Austria is the second country to set an expiry date for Covid-19 vaccine passports after Croatia announced it last month.
Croatia Becomes First Country To Set Expire Date For Covid-19 Vaccine Passports
Croatia was the first country in Europe to set a maximum validity period of the Covid-19 Vaccination Passport.
Travelers can enter Croatia using a negative test, vaccine passport, or proof of recovery but now they have imposed 210-day expiry date for travelers entering with a vaccine passport.
According to the government’s announcement, all travelers will be banned from entering without presenting a negative or Covid-19 PCR or rapid antigen test if more than 210 days have passed since they took the second dose of any approved vaccine.
Austria Becomes Second Country To Set An Expiry Date For Covid-19 Vaccine Passports
Austria has become the second country to set an expiry date for Covid-19 vaccine passports.
Currently, travelers entering Austria must show either a negative Covid-19 test, a vaccine certificate, or proof of recovery.
Yesterday, the country announced that it is putting a maximum validity period of 270 days – around nine months – on proof of vaccination.
Starting on August 18th, the new rules regarding vaccine certificate validity go into effect according to the Austria tourism board website, which are as follows:
“You are considered “vaccinated” starting on the 22nd day after your first dose, lasting for 90 days from the vaccination date. After the second dose, the validity extends for another 270 days.
Vaccines that only require one dose are valid from the 22nd day after that dose and for 270 days from the vaccination date. This also applies to people who have had COVID before and received only one dose of any vaccine.”
What Does This Mean For Travelers?
This adds another layer of complexity for travelers hoping to travel around Europe using proof of vaccination for entry.
Travelers will need to be mindful of when they got their second (or single) Covid-19 vaccine and check each countries rules to ensure it has not expired.
For example, if a traveler became fully vaccinated in January of this year, their vaccine certificate would already be expired in Croatia as 210 days (7 months) has passed. If expired, travelers must also present a negative Covid-19 test.
So far, only Croatia and Austria have set an expiry date for vaccine passports, but it would not be surprising to see more European countries following suit.
It also raises the question of whether travelers should be getting booster vaccines which has been a hot topic this week as it was announced that the United Kingdom may be requiring booster shots for travelers to return without a quarantine.
Today, the Biden administration called for a third Covid-19 shot starting for adults who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, citing the threat from the highly contagious Delta variant and concerns over data showing that initial immunity wanes over time.
The booster shot will be administered about eight months after the second dose for people ages 18 and older, and the U.S. government said it is preparing to offer boosters starting the week of Sept. 20.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories