While the EU Member States are announcing the reduction of vaccination certificates validity, starting on February 1, the Estonian authorities have revealed the extension of the document’s validity for all minors.
According to a press release issued by the Estonian government, vaccination certificates’ validity will be prolonged from nine months to 15 for minors aged from 12 to 18 years old, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“As the booster dose of COVID-19 has not yet been indicated for minors, the validity of the vaccination certificate for minors who have completed the primary vaccination course in Estonia will be extended to 15 months. The renewal of the certificate allows minors to take part in controlled activities and be exempted from post-travel isolation for 15 months from the end of the vaccination course,” the press release explains by pointing out that the decision applies only to minors in Estonia.
The authorities also stress that the certificate is valid for nine months when travelling, and the post-border rules in the country of destination must be further checked. In addition, the COVID vaccination certificate will be soon updated to include the holder’s age, meaning that the application will automatically show if the certificate is valid or not.
According to a recommendation recently issued by the European Commission, vaccination certificates validity should be limited to 270 days. In addition, several EU Member States followed suit and adopted this recommendation which says that people should be able to travel to the EU freely if they were vaccinated from 14 to 270 days before travelling.
The validity of the certificate of recovery stretches out to 180 days after the first positive test result has been issued, while test results’ validity depends on the type of test; a PCR test result is valid for 72 hours, while a rapid antigen test is valid for 24 hours.
However, the infection rates in the country are on the rise as the World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows that 32,793 positive cases with COVID-19 and 28 deaths were reported in Estonia during the last seven days. Moreover, since the pandemic started, 307,451 positive cases and 2,018 deaths were registered in the Baltic country.
Such infection rates can be related to the vaccination stakes, as the Estonian population is amongst the lowest vaccinated in the EU. The country’s full vaccination rates are ten per cent lower than the average of all EU/EEA countries (60.9 per cent), accounting for 81,000 inhabitants. Moreover, about 28 per cent of the population in Estonia has received the booster dose, as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data reveals.