Countries Are Making Covid Booster Shots Mandatory for Travel

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The rollout of booster jabs is continuing around the globe and Samoa has recently announced the third shot against covid-19 will be made available as early as the first quarter of this year.
As the pandemic evolves, the definition of what counts as “fully vaccinated” is shifting fast – and with it travel rules.
As the travel industry seemed to head towards normalcy, the Omicron variant struck. With the emergence of the new variant, countries across the world are once again imposing strict travel restrictions to prevent further spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, multiple nations are considering vaccine validity as one of the solutions, and others are making COVID booster shots mandatory for travellers.
Will Samoa follow suit?

Here’s a list of countries that have made COVID booster a requirement for travel.

Kuwait

Due to the rising number of Coronavirus cases, Kuwait has become the latest country to make COVID-19 booster dose mandatory for travellers seeking to visit the country. The said order came into effect from December 26, 2021. While citizens of Kuwait, who have not taken the COVID booster shot will not be allowed to fly out of the country, travellers wishing to enter the country will also be required to show their negative PCR test report which should not be older than 48 hours on arrival.

Note, if a traveller fails to provide the PCR test report, or if they are not vaccinated with a booster shot, they would not be allowed to enter Kuwait.

The Netherlands

Dutch Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge has announced that starting February 2022, the respective authorities of the country will recognise only COVID-19 vaccination certificates, which indicate that the person carrying it has received a booster shot. This also means that the Netherlands will shorten the validity of vaccination certificates to nine months. Those who fail to meet this requirement will be required to follow additional entry rules.

France
France

The French Government has announced that travellers over the age of 65 will be classified as unvaccinated if they haven’t received their booster shots by December 15. French President Emmanuel Macron also stated that both travellers and citizens must have had a booster shot after their six weeks and five months of taking their second shot. Although travellers over 65 without booster shots will be allowed to enter France, they will not be allowed entry to many of France’s indoor venues.

Croatia
Croatia

Croatia was the first nation in the world that announced a maximum vaccine validity, and stated that travellers will be required to present a proof of vaccination which is not older than 365 days. Reports also have it that any traveller, who has received their second vaccine dose in early 2021, will now be required to show proof of booster shots. If they fail to do so, travellers will be required to face further COVID-19 restrictions from this year.

Israel
 Israel

Israel created a record by having one of the world’s fastest vaccine rollouts. It then reopened to international visitors in the summer. However, as per the latest news reports, the nation announced that all fully vaccinated travellers over 180 days ago will now require booster shots. Apart from this, visitors will be required to wait until 14 days to enter the spot after their booster shot dose. Also note, Israel won’t permit any traveller who received their final vaccine dose over 180 days ago.

Austria

Austria recorded the lowest vaccine rollouts in the Western world, the reason why it recently announced that the vaccines have been made compulsory for all citizens. The nation also declared that the full vaccination status will expire nine months after the second dose. The said rule came into effect from November 8, 2021. Moreover, to enter entertainment spaces, bars, and restaurants, one will need booster shots if they reach the expiry date of their vaccine dose.

Greece

In view of rising COVID-19 cases across the world, Greece has increased COVID-19 restrictions and made vaccine passports mandatory for certain indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars, and cafes. Apart from this, anyone over the age of 60, including tourists, will now be required to get their booster shot in the next month, else they will not qualify for the vaccine passport. Moreover, the Greek Prime Minister is pushing the EU to ensure that the booster shots are made mandatory if travellers want to use EU’s digital health pass in the future.

Switzerland

Switzerland announced that it won’t be recognizing any traveller as fully vaccinated after 365 days of taking their second vaccine dose. Further, the regulations related to the COVID-19 certificate in Switzerland are in line with those issued by the European Union. However, travellers will still be able to visit the destination without the Swiss vaccine passport, but will not be allowed to enter many indoor spaces.