British holidaymakers will face new travel restrictions unless they are TRIPLE-jabbed as Austria and Israel lead way in tightening Covid entry rules
- Both countries have now placed time limits on the validity of Covid vaccinations
- Move to guard against waning immunity will be followed by others, expert says
- Comes as medics said UK booster drive will keep Covid under control this winter
British holidaymakers will face new travel restrictions unless they are triple-jabbed, as Austria and Israel lead the way in tightening Covid entry rules.
Both countries have now placed time limits on the validity of vaccinations to guard against waning immunity.
Austria will categorise travellers as unvaccinated if it has been more than 360 days since their second dose or booster, meaning they must pay for a PCR test to enter.
Israel will even stricter rules, with foreigners barred if the date they are set to leave the country is more than 180 days after their second dose or booster.
A graph showing the number of Covid boost tabs delivered in the UK, as Austria and Israel tightened their entry rules to guard against waning immunity
This could see even triple-jabbed Britons being excluded, although an exception applies to anyone who has recovered from Covid within the last six months and can produce a certificate showing they have antibodies.
Paul Charles, of travel consultancy The PC Agency, expects more countries to join Austria and Israel’s lead.
‘It’s likely countries will continue to ensure we are fully jabbed,’ he told the Telegraph.
‘By fully jabbed that means being up to date. We are seeing countries starting to align.’
Today saw a boost for Britain’s Covid booster vaccine drive, with experts saying it is going quick enough to keep winter cases under control.
Labour has again urged the Government to ‘turbo charge’ the NHS programme to 500,000 doses a day — nearly double the current average rate — to avoid hospitals becoming overrun this winter.
Doctor Abhi Mantgani administers a Covid-19 vaccine booster to Joanne Coombs in Birkenhead
And Health Secretary Sajid Javid — who has already warned Christmas curbs may be on the cards if uptake does not pick up — has repeatedly urged all eligible adults to come forward for their third jab.
But despite a slow start to the rollout beset by bureaucratic hurdles and slow uptake, NHS medics and volunteers are now dishing out an average of 1.9million booster doses every week in the UK — up from around 1.2million in the first week of October.
Unusually optimistic models by SAGE advisers predicted cases and hospitalisations will fall naturally this winter even without implementing the Government’s ‘Plan B’ if 1.3million boosters are dished out a week.
And independent experts told MailOnline today said the current pace of the rollout should be enough to keep the virus at bay.
Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the rollout is likely to reach the majority of the country’s most vulnerable adults by early December at the current pace.
He added: ‘Any suggestion that we should move to Plan B owing to the ‘slow’ rollout should be robustly resisted.’
At the current rate of 1.9million boosters a week, 23million people will have had their booster shot by Christmas Day — nearly three quarters of all 32million eligible adults.
But officials have also warned against complacency, urging Brits to book their booster jabs as soon as possible to ensure the rollout stays on track.
Professor Livermore told MailOnline: ‘Around seven to eight million of the circa 12 to 13million [currently] eligible for boosters in the UK have received them. I don’t see reason to be overly concerned.
‘Scotland and Wales are essentially already in Plan B, with continued mask mandates and with Covid passports for nightclubs and events. Yet their Covid rates are no different from England, which lacks these restrictions.’
He added: ‘This strongly suggests that Plan B amounts to inconveniencing people for no useful effect.’
Booster jabs are currently available to everyone over the age of 50, vulnerable adults and NHS and care workers who had their second dose at least six months ago.
Cases have already begun falling across the UK and remain low in older age groups. If the trend continues, experts expect hospitalisations and deaths to follow in the next two weeks.