The European Union will be reducing the COVID-19 passport validity to 9 months.
This new rule will come into force on February 1st 2022 and will only apply to traveling within countries in the EU. The European Commission announced this rule today and said that COVID-19 vaccine certificates won’t be valid after 9 months without a booster shot.
It was also recommended that the member states apply this new rule on a national level to “provide certainty for travelers and reduce disruptions.” The rule came about whilst many European countries are currently struggling to secure more vaccine doses.
This struggle is being caused by the drastic increase in coronavirus cases most likely because of the new Omicron variant. When announcing the rule, the Commission said that this reduced period of validity for vaccine passports “is a necessity for safe free movement and EU level coordination.”
EU residents are advised to receive a booster shot six months at the latest after they’re fully vaccinated. The certificate will then be valid for an extra three months as a period to ensure access to the booster. Passport validity after a booster shot will also be extended without a set limit.
The Commission has also introduced a new rule for the recording of the booster shot in vaccine passports. A booster dose following a two-dose full vaccination should be recorded as “3/3” in the certificate whilst a single-dose vaccination followed by a booster should read “2/1.”
Do you think this new rule will be effective?