08 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced late on Tuesday that, as of February 1, 2022, the international vaccination certificate for COVID-19 will only be valid for travellers who have also received their booster shot.

Coronavirus vaccination certificates valid for nine months

At the end of November, information leaked to the press showed the EU was looking to impose a nine-month limit on the validity of vaccination certificates. This would mean that, past the nine-month point, travellers will need to have received a so-called booster shot in order to travel within the EU.

Now, the Dutch Health Minister has confirmed this rule will be coming into effect on February 1, saying he and representatives from other member states have agreed that anyone travelling within the EU must receive their booster shot within nine months of their most recent vaccination. Otherwise, they will be required to present a recent negative test.

De Jonge called the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate “a good way to keep the borders open,” and emphasised that it was important for member states to enforce the same rules for the validity of (booster) jabs. The EU is yet to officially announce the new travel restrictions.

Booster vaccination campaign in the Netherlands

As of December 5, GGDs and hospitals across the country report having administered 700.000 booster shots against COVID-19. Currently, everyone born in or before 1947, people aged 18 and above with Down syndrome, and people with serious immune system disorders have been officially invited to receive the jab.

Over the coming weeks, the healthcare system will significantly scale up vaccination capacity, as the Dutch government has committed to administering at least three million jabs by the end of the year. The aim is to offer everyone over the age of 60 and all frontline healthcare workers a booster shot before 2022.

From January, everyone who received their last vaccine dose at least seven months ago will also be eligible to book an appointment for a booster. “We want to offer a booster to everyone who needs it as soon as possible,” De Jonge said in a statement.

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