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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Booster vaccinations added to NHS Covid Pass for foreign travel

Travellers who have received a booster dose will be able to show their updated vaccination status through the NHS Covid Pass from today.

The addition will enable people who have had their booster, or third dose, to travel to countries with stricter entry requirements such as Israel, Croatia and Austria without completing a period of quarantine.

Booster and third doses will not be added to the domestic Covid pass, as it is not a current requirement for people in the UK to receive a booster jab to qualify as fully-vaccinated.

People travelling into England will also not be required to show evidence of a booster vaccination.

More than 13 million booster jabs have been administered across the UK, with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) having expanded the programme earlier this week to include people aged 40-49.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.

“This update to the NHS Covid Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.

“Getting a top-up jab is our best defence against this virus and I urge all those who are eligible to come forward and get boosted.”

Maggie Throup, the Vaccines Minister, said it is “great” that people travelling overseas can now demonstrate their full vaccination status through the NHS Covid Pass.

Booster vaccination records will show up automatically through both the NHS app and on NHS.uk from midday on Friday.

However, the Covid Pass letter service will be updated in due course.

Travellers feared their winter holiday plans could be in jeopardy after a number of countries changed their entry requirements and imposed time limits on the validity of vaccinations, unless travellers have received a booster jab.

Austria will treat fully-vaccinated travellers as unvaccinated unless they have received a booster within 360 days of their second dose.

Meanwhile, Israel allows visits only if holidaymakers leave the country no more than 180 days after their second dose. Travellers can enter Israel if they have “received a booster dose and at least 14 days have passed by the day of entry into Israel”, the rules state.

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