Winter family vacations are in jeopardy due to the inability of 12- to 15-year-olds to be fully vaccinated.
Families with teenagers who want to go skiing in the Alps or visit Christmas markets on the continent will have to pay hundreds of pounds for frequent Covid testing, as well as a complete ban in Austria.
Britons’ winter family vacations abroad are jeopardized due to a minefield of Covid restrictions for children aged 12 to 15, who are unable to be double-vaccinated against the virus.
Families with teenagers who want to go skiing in the Alps or visit Christmas markets on the continent will have to pay hundreds of pounds for Covid testing instead of proof of vaccination.
A domestic vaccine pass is required for entry to public areas in the alpine nations of Italy, France, and Austria, including restaurants, hotels, pools, and in some cases ski lifts.
Children aged 12 to 15 in the United Kingdom, on the other hand, are only allowed to receive a single vaccination and do not count as fully vaccinated in these countries.
They also have no easy way of demonstrating that they have recovered from Covid, which in some countries can be used in place of proof of vaccination.
It can cost hundreds of pounds to obtain a recovery certificate from a private clinic.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization recommended last week that teenagers aged 16 and 17 receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but no decision has been made on a second dose for children aged 12 to 15.
As a result of the oversight, teenagers visiting Austria face a de facto ban on entering any public space, while those visiting France and Italy must pay hundreds of pounds for routine testing because they cannot prove they are fully vaccinated.
And, as I reported last month, families were frustrated that their vacation plans were being disrupted because children under the age of 16 are not eligible for the NHS Covid travel pass.
The UK government’s decision to not fully vaccinate children aged 12 to 15 has already forced one major school trip provider to cancel 2,000 children’s ski trips to Austria and Italy.
PGL’s group commercial director, Stephen Craeven, expressed his “heartbreak” at having to postpone between 40 and 50 trips in February of next year due to UK vaccine regulations.
He suggested that the UK change its vaccine policy to allow children aged 12 to 15 to receive two vaccinations, or that the EU “needs to.”
UK news summary from Infosurhoy
Winter family vacations are in jeopardy because children aged 12 to 15 are not fully vaccinated.
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Travel restrictions: Winter family holidays under threat because 12 to 15-year-olds can’t be fully vaccinated
Holiday travel rules for unvaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds
Entry – No entry for unvaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds. Under 12s can enter with a vaccinated parent or guardian.
Domestic Covid passport scheme – Varies by states, cities and region but getting stricter in most due to a new wave of infections. Some regions require proof of vaccination or recent recovery from virus for over 12s and will not accept negative tests.
Entry – No entry for unvaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds. Under-12s must enter with a vaccinated adult and take a PCR test (72 hours). Under-fives exempt.
Domestic Covid pass rules – Bars and restaurants can choose to require proof of vaccination for 12s and over.
Entry – No entry for unvaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds. Under-12s must enter with vaccinated adult, take PCR test (72 hours), plus arrival and day-eight tests provided by Canadian government. For 14 days, child must not travel on crowded transportation or attend large crowded settings. Under-fours exempt.
Domestic Covid pass rules – Varies by state. Most mandate vaccines for public spaces.
Entry allowed but with de-facto ban on teens entering any public space
Entry – Unvaccinated 12 to 18-year-olds can enter with vaccinated adult.
Domestic Covid pass rules – NHS Covid Pass, or proof of recovery accepted for entry to public places. Negative tests are not accepted.
Entry allowed but teens must test regularly
Entry – Unvaccinated 15s and under can enter with parent/guardian.
Domestic Covid pass rules – NHS Covid Pass accepted. Children aged 12 to 15 must test regularly. An antigen or PCR test is valid for 48 hours.
Entry – Proof of vaccination and PCR or antigen (48 hours). Under 18s exempt from vaccination if accompanied by fully vaccinated adult. Under-fives exempt from testing.
Domestic Covid pass rules – NHS Covid Pass accepted. Children aged 12-15 must regularly test. An antigen or PCR test is valid for 48 hours.