French workers at a hospital in Paris–the EU has voted to make booster shots a pre-requisite for … [+] travel across Europe, 9 months after second jab.

AFP via Getty Images

The EU has voted to make Covid Certificates valid for only 9 months, meaning that a booster shot will become a requirement to travel freely across Europe in 2022.

All the countries in the EU (plus the Schengen area) have been using the EU Digital Covid Certificate to allow anyone to move freely around Europe (and indeed within their own countries) since July 2021–people show the pass to say they have either been vaccinated fully, have had Covid-19 or they have recently been tested negative for Covid-19.

Many countries are currently using these passes to enter restaurants, bars and cinemas for instance, which has encouraged vaccinations, as many people don’t want the effort of having to take Covid-19 tests every couple of days to be out and about.

Tourists can convert their own health certificates showing proof of vaccination status into these health passes when they arrive into the EU–in France, for instance, pharmacies have applied for the right to be able to do this.

As Covid-19 infection rates surge across European countries, Tuesday’s move follows something that individual countries are already doing, but on a wider, legally mandated basis across the bloc.

As reported by The New York Times, many countries are already moving to demand a booster shot for traveling/entering public spaces without restrictions. In Italy, Wednesday is the deadline to receive a booster jab for passes to be considered active and in France, over 65s have already passed the deadline and from January onwards, all adults must have had a booster for their Pass Sanitaire to remain active. Austria already considers the pass inactive after 9 months of the last Covid vaccination.

Didier Reynders, the EU commissioner for justice, said in a statement that it was “now up to the member states to ensure boosters will be rolled out swiftly to protect our health and ensure safe traveling.”

The implication is, therefore, that tourists will need to have had a booster in order to travel freely across the EU in 2022.

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