Coronavirus: GP says 'Omicron is beating the booster'
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In the UK, the booster vaccine rollout has ramped up with over 37 million people receiving their third jab. Elsewhere in the world figures are rising too, and now many countries have incorporated booster rules into their entry requirements for visitors.
Which countries now require a booster vaccine?
From January 15, all adults (aged 18 and over) in France who received their second vaccine dose over seven months ago are required to have a booster shot in order to access France’s new vaccine pass ‘pass vaccinal’.
This pass is needed in order to gain access to public amenities such as restaurants, bars and museums.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explained: “Adults who have been fully vaccinated for more than seven months need to demonstrate they have received an approved COVID-19 booster injection in order to access the ‘pass vaccinal’ in France.
“From 15 February 2022, the delay for receiving a booster to maintain pass validity will reduce from seven to four months.
“This applies to visiting tourists and those residing in France.”
France has not yet made any update as to whether the booster rules will apply to vaccination status for entry to the country.
From February 1 onwards, people who received both doses of their Covid vaccine more than 270 days prior will need a booster to enter Spain.
The FCDO stated: At least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated before arrival in Spain.
“Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain.
“If you completed your vaccination (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab.”
Israel now requires people to have had a booster jab in order to be considered “fully vaccinated”.
To be considered fully vaccinated in Israel people must be 12 or older and have received a booster shot at least a week ago, or be within six months of receiving a second vaccination shot.
Alternatively, people who are within six months of testing positive for COVID-19 are also considered fully vaccinated.
The rules will not apply to people who can not be vaccinated for medical reasons.
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Though Maui is just one of the Hawaiian islands, its mayor has indicated booster rules will apply there.
From January 8, Mayor Michael Victorino has revised Public Health Emergency Rules that change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include having had a booster vaccine.
The Mayor said: “Science says that after the second shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations or the single Johnson and Johnson shot vaccinations weaken after about six months.
“This rule change recognises that and requires that businesses ensure that patrons are fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative Covid test within 48 hours.
“Beginning January 8, that means patrons who seek service indoors need to show proof that they’ve received a booster shot as soon as they are eligible, which means after six months have passed since the last dose or Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after Johnson and Johnson.”
There has been no confirmation if this rule will later apply to all of Hawaii.
On January 5, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced that vaccination certification would only remain valid for seven months after the last dose of vaccine.
People who have not received a booster after a seven-month time frame will be considered unvaccinated as of February 1.
The FCDO stated: “This does not affect international travel or entry to Greece, but domestic ‘unvaccinated’ measures will apply within Greece.”
People who have not been vaccinated in Greece are not permitted to enter indoor restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, museums, gyms and stadiums.
They must present a negative test to visit other places such as shops.
The Dutch government has said people with certificates older than nine months will be required to have a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
All those who do not meet this will be required to follow additional entry requirements.
The rules officially come into force on February 1.
Croatia has also made the decision to make vaccine statuses invalid after nine months.
This means, to be considered fully vaccinated in Croatia, you will need evidence of having received a booster jab.
The Council of Ministers in Kuwait announced on Twitter that people who had their vaccine more than nine months previous will no longer be considered “fully vaccinated”.
In a statement, the authority said: “The State of Kuwait COVID-19 vaccines over nine months from that date will be considered incompletely vaccinated unless they receive their third approved COVID-19 booster shot.”
Travel to the country continues to be limited to “necessity only” and quarantine rules will apply.
Austria has its own set of rules dubbed “2-G”, which determine whether people are considered fully vaccinated for certain activities. These vary depending on whether travellers are entering the country or are already in the country.
The Austrian tourism website stated: “From February 1 2022, two-dose vaccinations are only valid for 180 days when in Austria (exception: 210 days for under 18-years-old).
“However, for entering the 270 days remain in place. The booster vaccination is valid for 270 days in both scenarios.”
This means, people do not need to have had a booster jab if they were vaccinated in the 270 days previously to enter the country, but if they were jabbed more than 180 days prior they may not be able to access some public amenities.
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