Millions of British nationals wishing to travel to the European Union Member States no longer have to fear that they may encounter problems throughout their trip due to the non-inclusion of their third COVID-19 booster shot in their NHS Covid Pass.
The UK Department of Health and Social Care has announced on Friday, November 19, that starting from the same date, the third dose will be included in the NHS COVID Pass.
“The addition will enable those who have had their booster or third dose to travel to countries including Israel, Croatia and Austria who have already introduced a time limit for the COVID-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine free travel,” the Department notes in a press release announcing the decision.
It further explains that booster shots will show up automatically in the digital COVID Pass, starting from today. However, the doses will be updated later in the COVID Pass letter service.
At the same time, the third shot will not be included in the COVID pass that is used domestically since the government has not imposed a requirement for UK nationals to receive booster shots in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
A booster jab will not be required to enter England either, at least for now.
Data by the Department of Health and Social Care show that more than 13 million people have received their booster jab in the countries. The majority of them are older citizens and those with health complications, as until recently, only those over the age of 49 and those at risk have been offered the jab.
However, only this week, the government has decided to permit those age 40 and older to get the jab, upon a recommendation of the. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, has commented on the move, noting that it is a move in a bid to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.
“This update to the NHS COVID Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas,” Secretary Javid said.
According to the Department, booster shots will show up automatically in the digital COVID Pass for holders in England, starting from today. However, the doses will be updated later in the COVID Pass letter service.
In Wales, on the other hand, the passes will be updated from November 29.
The European Union has adopted an equivalence decision for the UK’s NHS Covid Pass on October 28. The British authorities had been trying to have the NHS Covid pass recognised by the EU as equal to the EU’s digital vaccine certificate since early summer, on July 28.
Soon enough, the EU Member States separately confirmed that they started recognising the NHS Covid passes, the majority of them permitting restriction-free entry for holders of such certificates.