British travelers may need three vaccination doses if they want to travel next year, according to the U.K’s Health Minister.
Britain’s Care Minister Gillian Keegan said the government considers people who’ve had two vaccinations as fully vaccinated, but that will “evolve over time.”
The Minister said, “The advice at the moment is the double jabbed vaccination but of course that will evolve over time as the third dose comes in.
“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 etc’ because it’s not probably going to be good for next summer.”
This also hints that travelers entering the U.K may need a booster jab from 2022. Britain has now decreased the waiting time for booster jabs from 6 months to 5 months.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the time between jabs is an “extremely important point” and stressed the need to “keep going as fast as possible” to deliver booster jabs.
The news comes as various nations are now setting expiry dates on being fully vaccinated. Croatia was the first nation to set a maximum validity for the COVID-19 certificate.
And Austria and Switzerland have followed suit. The Swiss authorities only consider someone as fully vaccinated 12 months after their final vaccination dose.
As a result, many fully vaccinated British and American travelers will likely need a booster jab to enter Switzerland from early 2022.
The Current Travel Rules
The current U.K travel rules state anyone who has received two vaccination doses is exempt from quarantine when returning to the U.K.
From October 24th, travelers will no longer need to take a PCR test two days after arrival. Instead, British travelers can take a lateral flow test.
And since October 4th, fully vaccinated travelers entering the U.K from any non-red list country no longer have to take a COVID-19 test before setting off.
The list applies to people vaccinated from the United States, the E.U, and various other nations. These include Brazil, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Africa, and Pakistan.
If British travelers are unvaccinated and over 18, they will have to self-isolate upon returning 10 days after arriving in the United Kingdom.
Unvaccinated travelers need to take a PCR or an antigen test 3 days before traveling to the United Kingdom. They’ll also need to take a test on or before day two and after day eight during their self-isolation.
At the moment, the British government has no plans to change the definition of fully vaccinated. But health ministers are advising booster jabs to build immunity levels as case levels rise in the U.K.
The Current COVID-19 Situation In The U.K
The United Kingdom dropped all COVID-19 restrictions in July following a rapid vaccination rollout. That includes a drop on the mask mandate, removal of social distancing, and removal of limits on gatherings.
Cases remained stagnant in the U.K for the following two months. However, cases have started to rise in the U.K in recent weeks. It now has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 worldwide, but the government has refused to reinstate any restrictions.
The current 7-day case average in the United Kingdom is 47,209. Across the four nations within the U.K 81.7% to 86.7% were fully vaccinated, and 92.7% to 94.1% had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
There are growing signs travelers will need a third vaccine dose in 2022 if they want to avoid travel restrictions.
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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