Booster jab for travel., | MONICAH MWANGI

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The Spanish authorities have announced that starting from February 1, only vaccination certificates indicating that a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus within the last 270 days will be recognised.

This means that all persons, regardless of their country of origin, who have received their last vaccine dose more than nine months ago will need to get a booster shot to be permitted entry to Spain, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Nonetheless, it has been emphasised that the certificate which proves that the holder has received a booster dose will be recognised only if more than 14 days have passed since its administration.

“From February 1, 2022, in order to travel to Spain with a vaccination certificate, the certificate must have been issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin at least 14 days after the date of administration of the last dose of the full course of vaccination, as long as the final dose of that course of vaccination was no more than 270 days ago,” the statement of Spain’s official travel website, Safe Spain, reads.

Apart from having to present proof of complete vaccination against the COVID-19 disease, Spain currently requires all persons to fill out a Health Control Form prior to their arrival. Each form is associated with a single trip, personal and non-transferable.

Spain currently categorises countries into different lists based on their epidemiological situation. The two main lists are the risk list and the high-risk list.

While travellers from the risk list, which consists of European and Schengen Area countries, are not required to present an additional document as long as they hold a valid vaccination pass, those from high-risk areas must present a pre-entry test, regardless of their vaccination status.

Similar to Spain, several other EU/Schengen Area countries have already announced that they would also shorten the validity of vaccination certificates.

The Dutch authorities set an expiry date on the passes earlier this month. It was announced that starting from February 1, only those vaccinated within 270 would be considered fully immunised, suggesting that the other need to receive a booster dose.

A similar decision was also taken by Switzerland. The Swiss authorities revealed that they would follow the Commission’s recommendation and only recognise vaccination certificates indicating that the holder has received the last vaccine dose within the last nine months.