Following the recommendation of the European Commission, the German authorities have decided to shorten the validity of vaccination certificates to 270 days.
The new rule on the vaccination passes entered into force on February 1 and affects everyone travelling within the EU.
The Commission proposed that from February 1, European Union Member States establish a uniform acceptance rate of 270 days for vaccination certificates. Such recommendation was given in order to coordinate travel measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as make the travel process less complicated.
In line with this proposed rule, persons who reach Germany need to provide valid proof that they have received the last vaccine dose (of a two-dose vaccination scheme) within the last 270 days in order to be exempt from additional entry measures, such as testing and quarantine requirement.
It is believed that persons who have been vaccinated more than 270 days ago will be considered unvaccinated when reaching Germany if they haven’t yet received a booster shot.
Nonetheless, the German authorities haven’t yet given any information regarding booster doses and the corresponding interval times. Booster shot refers to the third vaccine that is given to persons who have already completed primary vaccination.
Apart from this change, Germany has also shortened the validity of recovery certificates.
According to the German responsible body for disease prevention and control, Robert Koch Institute (RKI), recovery certificates are now valid for only a period of 90 days.
Previously, recovery certificates were valid for 180 days. However, according to the German authorities, unvaccinated persons who have been infected with the virus are only temporarily protected from the disease. For this reason, they have decided to shorten its validity.
“The duration of the recovered status was reduced from 6 months to 90 days because the scientific evidence to date indicates that unvaccinated individuals who have had an infection have reduced and even more temporary protection against reinfection with the omicron variant compared to the delta variant,” RKI notes.
Germany also urged the EU to reduce the recovery certificates’ validity to 90 days. The German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called the European Union to make such a proposal in order to protect public health within the bloc.
Last week, Germany added another 12 countries to its list of high-risk areas as they have been registering increased infection rates. Travellers from high-risk areas need to follow extended entry rules when reaching Germany.