International travelers planning to arrive in the EU/Schengen area, as well as EU citizens wishing to travel within the bloc, may face difficulties from 1 February as their vaccination certificates will no longer be recognized.
Following the new adoption of the rules on the certificate of vaccination in the European Union by the Commission, the countries of the European Union and the Schengen area announced that additional rules will apply to all travelers whose vaccination certificates expire from February 1.
This means that once the new rules go into effect, those with an expired vaccination permit indicating only the initial vaccination will be subject to stricter entry rules, such as testing and quarantine requirements, TheSchengen.com reports.
On the other hand, those who receive an extra dose of the vaccine, also known as the booster vaccine, as well as those who took their second dose not too long ago, will be able to travel under the concessional rules without having to go through testing and quarantine procedures.
Although the committee suggested that vaccination cards remain valid for 270 days after receipt of the second dose, member states were able to decide on their own about travel procedures.
Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland are just some of the EU/Schengen area countries that have already announced that from next Tuesday, new measures will be in place.
Last week, Austrian authorities announced that initial vaccination certificates would only allow entry into the country if the last dose was received within the last 270 days. However, it has been emphasized that for proof of ‘2-G’ status while in Austria, only vaccination cards indicating complete vaccination within the last 180 days will be accepted.
Austrian authorities highlighted, “to prove your ‘2-G’ status during your stay in Austria, from February 1, 2022, the validity of the second vaccination will be reduced to 180 days.”
Similar to Austria, the Dutch authorities said that from February 1, the validity of vaccination certificates will be shortened from 12 to nine months. This means that each person must receive a booster dose in order for the passes to be considered valid upon arrival in the Netherlands.
In addition, Switzerland will also follow the recommendation of the European Union Commission and only recognize vaccination cards indicating that the holder has received the last dose of the vaccine within 270 days. It has been clarified that the validity of the vaccination card can be extended by receiving an additional dose.
Unlike other countries, the Belgian advisory committee decided to reduce the validity of vaccination certificates from 270 to 150 days, starting from March 1.