EU COVID certificates only valid for 9 months without booster
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that the bloc will only recognise COVID certificates as valid for nine months before requiring a booster shot. The new regulation will come into force on February 1, 2022.
Boosters required to extend validity of COVID certificates
Without a booster shot, EU vaccination certificates will no longer be valid nine months after the basic immunisation. As the EU Commission announced on Tuesday, the member states have agreed that booster shots should be administered no later than six months after the primary vaccination course against coronavirus. The vaccination certificate will then remain valid for an extra three months before expiring, to give people time to get their booster shots.
An EU official told Reuters that they had not yet decided on a limit for the validity of the booster shot, since not enough scientific evidence is yet available about the duration of the extra protection it gives.
Announcing the decision on Twitter, the European Commission said that it was adopting “a binding acceptance period of nine months for vaccination certificates for intra-EU travel,” and that a “harmonised validity period” was necessary for “safe free movement and EU level coordination.”
Digital certificate is needed to travel within EU
The EU vaccination certificate is a QR code that can be displayed on a person’s mobile phone and read digitally to confirm their vaccination status. Different apps are used by different countries, but the codes are recognised across the EU - and beyond - to make travel easier. According to the Commission, 807 million COVID digital certificates have been issued across the EU so far.
Although the new rules primarily concern travel, the Commission has recommended that all countries in the bloc apply it on a national level to “provide certainty for travellers and reduce disruptions.”
Should 2G rules remain in place in Germany, this will likely mean that everyone will eventually need to get a booster to continue to be considered "fully vaccinated".