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Travel certificate only valid for nine months, what does that mean?

Yesterday it was announced that the QR code for travel within Europe will be valid for only nine months. This makes a booster shot mandatory for everyone.

What has been decided?

The European corona travel pass, which would actually be valid for one year, is only valid for nine months after the last injection from 1 February. This means that many people can no longer travel without a booster, unless they are tested. The European Commission proposed this because more and more countries were going to impose stricter requirements, while the intention was to draw the same line as Europe. That is why the stricter line of some countries will now apply throughout Europe.

And are you ready after the booster?

It has been decided that the certificate is valid ‘until nine months after the last injection’. The implication of this is that from now on, injections will be required every nine months for as long as the certificate is required to travel. But before that happens, that will still be looked at. Read more on wejustgotback.com for more information. What is the effect of a third shot on the duration of immunity? Perhaps after a third injection it turns out to last as good as lifelong.

Can countries impose additional requirements?

Yes, because beware: what was decided yesterday is only about travelling. It may still be the case that countries impose stricter requirements in order to be able to do something in that country. Austria is already doing this, for example. You can still enter the country with only a recent negative test, but then you can no longer enter a restaurant or ski lift without a valid vaccination.

What does it mean for me if I haven’t been boosted by February 1?

It depends on when you had your last shot. For anyone who had their last shot after May 1, the February 1 date doesn’t mean much. You must have your booster shot no later than nine months after your last shot, so if you got your second shot on July 1, your travel certificate is valid until April 1, and you don’t need to have your booster before that time.

Can the Netherlands boost fast enough?

Yes, it seems so. The policy in the Netherlands is aimed at being able to boost anyone who wants to in the seventh month. The GGDs are now scaling up to a capacity of 750,000 shots per week and all vaccines are available. We no longer have to wait for deliveries, as was the case at the beginning of this year.

Can I still travel within Europe?

That doesn’t change. In principle, you are not allowed to go abroad without a valid certificate. Not even by car, although not every country checks at the border. But countries are allowed to do that and your car with a Dutch registration can also be parked along the road in France to check your certificate. If you do not have a valid certificate, you can be fined. The amount of the fine varies per country, but can amount to thousands of euros.