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31st Jan 2022

New EU travel rules on booster shot to come into effect tomorrow

Sarah McKenna Barry

The rule comes into force on 1 February.

Tomorrow sees a nine month validity period come into force for those who have only received their primary dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, which could pose problems at the boarding gate for some.

The rule states that those travelling within the EU must have received their booster shot, have proof of recovery from Covid or remain within the nine-month period since their first, non-booster vaccine dose.

As Breaking News reports, the majority of people in Ireland who have not received their booster are in the younger age co-horts, and it’s likely that they will still be within the nine-month period since their first dose of the vaccine.

The rule will pose a problem for those who were vaccinated before May 2021, but have yet to receive a booster shot.

If you only received one dose of the vaccine before this period, you may still travel if you have proof of recovery from the virus, or if you comply with the Covid testing regulations on travel.

Discussing the issue on Newstalk radio, the president of the Irish Travel Agents Association Paul Hackett said: “The EU Digital Covid Cert that we received in 2021 has nine months’ validity from the date of the second vaccination.

“We don’t anticipate any impact on international travel here. This has been widely flagged, this is across the EU – all EU states are applying this nine-month validity rule.

“1st February count back nine months – anybody who got a vaccine before the 1st of May needs to get their booster.

“Then that will roll forward into March and April, more people will join to those 44,000 who have not yet had their booster.”

Mr Hackett then said that there is currently no validity period for boosters.

“Once you have your booster, your vaccine cert is effectively put back into action and is valid,” he clarified.