New EU rules to complicate travel for those without Covid booster

New Eu Rules To Complicate Travel For Those Without Covid Booster
Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearn has warned the issue will only 'intensify' as more young people seek to travel. Photo: Getty Images
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New European Union rules will complicate international travel for those without a Covid booster vaccine as a deadline for the expiry of Digital Covid Certs looms.

An estimated 44,000 people in Ireland who have received just a primary course of a vaccine could soon face issues at the boarding gate, as a nine-month validity period comes into force for Covid certs from February 1st.


From Tuesday, the new EU rules mean that those planning to travel using the certs within the bloc must have a booster shot, proof of recovery from Covid or currently remain within nine months of their second vaccine dose.

Although the percentage of those who have received a booster is significantly lower among younger age groups in Ireland, with between 40 and 70 per cent of people aged between 18 and 49 boosted, the majority of this cohort will not reach the nine-month cut-off point until the summer.

President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, Paul Hackett, said the issue is most pressing for those who received their second vaccine dose before May last year and who now remain without a booster.

We don’t anticipate any impact on international travel here


“The EU Digital Covid Cert that we received in 2021 has nine months' validity from the date of the second vaccination,” he told Newstalk radio.

“We don’t anticipate any impact on international travel here. This has been widely flagged, this is across the EU – all EU states are applying this nine-month validity rule.

“[From the] 1st February count back nine months – anybody who got a vaccine before the 1st of May needs to get their booster.

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“Then that will roll forward into March and April, more people will join to those 44,000 who have not yet had their booster.”

Mr Hackett said there is currently no limit on the validity of a Digital Covid Cert issued following booster vaccination. “Once you have your booster, your vaccine cert is effectively put back into action and is valid.”

People without a booster will still be able to travel if they have proof of recovery from Covid-19 or are willing to take a PCR test within a set window before they travel.

The Department of Health has issued 165,904 Covid recovery certs this month for travel within the EU.

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