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Countries introducing vaccine validity dates

Austria and Croatia are the first two destinations to set a vaccination expiry date

The recent rise of the delta variant of the coronavirus, as well as concerns that vaccine protection diminishes over time, are prompting countries to set expiry dates for vaccine certificates based on when a traveller was immunised.

Croatia was the first country to establish a maximum validity period for Covid-19 vaccine certificates. According to the new rules, travellers are only considered immune for 270 days (approximately nine months) after receiving a second vaccination. 

Travellers whose vaccines have ‘expired’ must take a PCR test or rapid antigen test upon arrival, at their own expense, and must self-isolate until a negative result is obtained. If they are unable to be tested, they must self-isolate for 10 days.

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Austria also announced last week that its vaccine certificate is only valid for nine months following full vaccination. Vaccines that require only one dose are effective from the 22nd day following that dose and for 270 days from the vaccination date. This also applies to people who have previously had Covid and have only received one dose of any vaccine.

The timeline means that travellers who are double vaccinated in March 2021 may lose their right to visit the destinations as early as November 2021.

Previously, the only rules regarding vaccination status covered which vaccine brands are accepted, and the agreed duration for becoming “fully vaccinated” (14 days after taking the final dose of an accepted vaccine). So far, no other countries have set a vaccine deadline.

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