People who have received a Covid-19 booster vaccine in the UK will be able to prove it on their NHS app, paving the way for hassle-free travel abroad, the government announced.
Several European countries, including Croatia, Austria and Switzerland, said only travellers with proof of three doses will be considered “fully vaccinated” upon entry and therefore exempt from quarantine requirements.
France is tipped to introduce a similar rule, with the government considering whether to increase the dose requirement to three for travellers in certain age groups.
Britain is offering booster vaccines to over 40s and those deemed to be vulnerable to death from the coronavirus.
So far, more than 13.8 million people have received three doses of a vaccine in the UK.
Now, those wishing to spend Christmas and the New Year holidays abroad will be able to show their fully inoculated status on the NHS Covid Pass app. The changes are expected to take effect today.
Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at the plan, saying it “will make life easier” for people wishing to travel overseas.
Rory Boland, travel editor at Which?, said adding proof of a booster to the app is urgent because “other countries have already introduced the requirement to have had a booster jab as they limit the validity of vaccines, but with UK residents currently unable to provide evidence that they have done so they risk being turned away from the plane on their next trip”.
He said until the changes are made all travellers should “should carefully check the requirements of the country you’re planning on visiting before booking”.
“Booking a package holiday with a tour provider that has a good flexible booking policy will help protect your money if restrictions change at the last minute,” he said.
After the government extended the booster programme to all over 40s on Monday, Mr Johnson said getting a top-up jab “will become an important fact”, in light of research showing waning immunity after two doses.
“I think that we will be making plans to add the booster dose to the NHS Covid travel pass,” he said.
“But again, I think what the general lesson is for anybody who wants to travel, you can see that getting fully vaccinated with a booster is going to be something that will, on the whole, make your life easier in all kinds of ways including foreign travel.
“So I would just say, if you’re thinking about that, that this is yet another reason to get it done.”