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UK government could restrict travel for those who refuse Covid booster jab


The government is reportedly considering imposing travel restrictions on anyone who turns down the offer of a Covid-19 booster jab.

According to sources from No 10, the government is “reviewing the implications and requirements of boosters for international travel certification” and “looking at whether and how booster vaccinations could be included in the NHS Covid pass for travel”.

The change was not said to be imminent, but No 10 did confirm that ministers were considering imposing heavier quarantine and testing requirements on those who turned down a booster jab, reported the Guardian.

At present more than 10 million people in the UK have received a third dose of the vaccine, with over 50s, those with weakened immune systems and healthcare workers prioritised initially.

However, around 30 per cent of people aged over 80 are yet to have their third dose, along with more than 60 per cent of over 50s.

While the plans to incorporate booster vaccine status into travel documents may be some way off, in a statement released yesterday, health secretary Sajid Javid announced plans to make booster jabs easier to book, calling the booster programme a “national mission” and urging anyone who is offered a third jab to accept it.

The NHS jab booking service will be updated to let people over 50 and those most at risk from coronavirus pre-book their jab for five months after their second dose.

The booster rollout plan for those aged under 50 has yet to be announced.

“For those not yet eligible, please help your parents, grandparents or vulnerable loved ones get their jabs – it could save their life,” said Mr Javid.

“And if you haven’t yet had your first and second vaccines, it is not too late – the NHS will always be there to welcome you with open arms.

“This truly is a national mission. If we all come together and play our part, we can get through this challenging winter, avoid a return to restrictions and enjoy Christmas.”

Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalisation and deaths from the virus, but immunity drops by around 5-20 per cent around five months after the second dose.

The news comes after some countries imposed an “expiry date” on travellers’ vaccines, meaning some holidaymakers’ proof of vaccination may be deemed out of date and invalid for travel.

Croatia and Austria were the earliest to require travellers to have had their second dose within the past calendar year, meaning many Britons’ jabs will be out of date by spring 2022.

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