EU sets nine-month time limit on vaccination certificates
New rules have come into force regarding the validity of the EU Digital Covid Certificate for intra-EU travel. The certificate will now only be valid for nine months (270 days) after the second jab of a two-dose vaccine or after the single dose for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
This means that travellers will now have to provide proof of a booster jab once their vaccine status is more than nine months old in order to be classified as “fully vaccinated.”
Note that this does not necessarily mean that double-jabbed travellers from the UK will need a booster to enter all countries in the European Union, but they may have trouble accessing venues and services without further testing once they arrive.
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Australia to reopen borders to vaccinated international travellers
Australia is to reopen its borders to vaccinated international travellers from February 21st.
Qantas is to ramp up capacity after two years of strict Covid-19 entry curbs to the country.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, announcing the relaxation of rules for overseas travellers, said: “If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back.”
He said those entering Australia when the borders fully reopened would need to provide proof of vaccination.
“That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it,” Morrison added.
The decision was taken because Australia due to the spread of the Omicron variant, meaning international travellers do not pose an extra risk.
“The variant is here in Australia. And for those who are coming in who are double vaccinated, they don’t present any greater risk than those who are already here in Australia,” he added.
Vaccinated travellers entering most Australian states need a negative PCR test three days before their flight – or a supervised rapid test 24 hours before departure – to be exempt from any quarantine.
Unvaccinated travellers who have a medical reason for not being jabbed will still need to apply for a travel exemption and will be required to quarantine at a hotel if successful.
Western Australia, which is still pursuing a Covid-zero strategy, is expected to keep in place its arrival caps and 14-day quarantine rules.
Source: Travel weekly
Spain introduces booster requirement for UK travellers
Travellers from the UK may now have to show proof of a booster jab to enter Spain. Travellers who have had two doses of the vaccine more than 270 days prior to travel will no longer be classified as fully jabbed. If this is the case, they must have received a booster vaccination at least 14 days prior to entry. Travellers can show proof of a booster vaccination within the NHS Covid Pass for international travel. Note that children under the age of 12 do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated.
British Airways to add customer service improvements for 2022
British Airways has outlined a series of customer services improvements for 2022, including the return of the pre-Covid meal service in Club Europe. The enhancements cover both ground and inflight services, with changes including:
- The introduction of dedicated check-in desks for World Traveller Plus customers
- The resumption of the carrier’s pre-Covid meal service in Club Europe, with new menus “and more variety” from next month
- The introduction of plant-based menus in the airline’s lounges, starting with Heathrow before rolling out to US facilities
- New water stations in the carrier’s UK lounges, with plastic water bottles being replaced with glass
Travel news as a glance:
- Possibly strike action by Menzies Aviation Ground Handlers at Heathrow Airport on Feb 11-13 – dialogues are currently taking place to avoid strike action
- British Airways has expanded its partnership with Loganair, adding 18 new routes to the codeshare agreement
- Air France automates vaccine pass verification for domestic flights
- Morocco will lift its ban on international flights from 7 February