Spring break travel: countries that require a Covid vaccine booster

The UK, Bahrain and Ireland strip all requirements for travellers but other destinations still have restrictions

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Thousands of families across the UAE will be making plans for a holiday getaway as the spring break draws near.

The school holidays – which for many pupils begin on March 28 – are an ideal opportunity to jet off overseas.

But in the Covid-19 age, careful planning is required before deciding on a destination.

Travel rules change regularly in keeping with fluctuating infection rates around the world, meaning holidaymakers need to closely monitor regulations for specific countries.

In the past few weeks, countries such as the UK, Ireland and Saudi Arabia have stripped all coronavirus-related restrictions for travellers.

But in other places they remain, and require travellers to be fully vaccinated – and even boosted – to enter.

So, with spring break approaching, which countries require people to have had a booster?

And what are the rules on people who are eligible for additional jabs in the Emirates?

Who is eligible for a booster in the UAE

The UAE has consistently called on the public to receive a third booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine if eligible.

In early February, officials paved the way for people to receive a fourth dose.

The rules are:

People who have had two or three doses of Sinopharm can receive a booster dose of Sinopharm or Pfizer six months after the last dose they received.

Those who have had two doses of Sinopharm and a Pfizer-BioNTech booster can receive a booster dose of Pfizer six months after the last dose they received.

After having two or three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech people can receive a booster dose of Pfizer after a gap of six months.

High-risk people can receive a booster dose three months after their third and fourth injections.

Authorities do not recommend that people who have had two doses of Sinopharm and two doses of Pfizer receive a fifth shot at this time.

Countries that require people to have had a booster

Austria

Travellers will need a booster jab if their second dose was administered more than 270 days previously.

Rules state that people must show they have had at least two shots of a Covid vaccine, or have proof of a past infection within 180 days, about six months.

If either cannot be provided, a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a negative LFT/antigen test (valid for 24 hours) is also accepted.

Vaccine certificates are valid for a limited period; 270 days, or about nine months, after the second dose of a vaccine and 270 days after a booster.

There must also have been at least 90 days between the second and third jab.

More information is available here.

Croatia

Vaccinated travellers require a booster if they received the initial two shots more than 270 days previously.

Anyone considered unvaccinated can either provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or provide proof of a negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arrival. Alternatively, they can provide proof they have had Covid within the past 180 days.

More information is available here.

France

Visitors to France vaccinated more than nine months ago need to have a booster before travelling. iStockphoto.com

Travellers who are 12 and older who have been vaccinated for more than nine months need a booster shot to enter the country.

People who are unvaccinated and coming from a green list country, which includes the UAE, can provide a recovery certificate from the past six months or a negative test result from a PCR performed in the past 72 hours or rapid antigen from the past 48 hours.

More information is available here.

A vaccination pass is no longer required to visit events or places such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, performance halls, stadiums, fairs and exhibitions.

Greece

An idyllic view on the Greek island of Santorini. Shutterstock

Travellers must download and show the EU Covid vaccination certificate, which proves a person has either had a full vaccine course, with a booster if it has been more than nine months since their last shot. There is no time limit on the booster.

Alternatively, the pass can prove a person has recovered from the virus within 180 days; has a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of travel or a rapid test performed within 24 hours of the scheduled arrival.

The rules apply to everyone over the age of 5.

More information is available here.

The Netherlands

People must be fully vaccinated, with a booster if the first course was completed more than 270 days ago, to be able to enter the country. There is no expiry date for a booster.

More information is available here.

Spain

Travellers must prove they are vaccinated, with a booster, if it has been longer than 270 days since the initial two Covid shots.

They must also fill out a Health Control Form.

More information is available here.

Switzerland

People must have been fully vaccinated within 270 days to visit Switzerland. If it has been longer since they received their last dose, they must also have received a booster. Alternatively, they can prove they have already had Covid via a recovery certificate.

More information is available here.

Updated: March 24, 2022, 3:00 AM
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