The Netherlands will require COVID-19 boosters starting in February

Dec 9, 2021

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As more people worldwide receive COVID-19 boosters, one country is making it mandatory for travel purposes.

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The Netherlands announced the only vaccine certificates that would be accepted are those that show that the holder has received a COVID-19 booster shot, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com. According to the site, people who have not received a booster should still be able to travel within the European Union if they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. That policy is expected to go into effect in February 2022.

Travelers from the U.S. can enter the Netherlands if they are fully vaccinated or qualify for one of the EU Entry Ban Exemption Categories. Travelers who are eligible under an exemption who can’t show proof of vaccination must be able to show a negative COVID-19 test result. This policy applies to all travelers 12 and over.

The Netherlands follows several countries that have already put restrictions in place for people who have not received a COVID-19 booster. People 65 and older in France must have a booster shot to visit indoor venues, starting Dec. 15. The United Kingdom recently said eligible people who turn down a booster shot might face quarantine and additional testing, The Guardian reported.

As I’ve previously reported, governments putting expiration dates on vaccination credentials is not a new development. New York state’s Excelsior Pass vaccine passport is currently valid for 365 days, but the state also said that the validity was subject to change based on guidance from health experts. The “Excelsior Pass Plus” – another version of New York State’s vaccine passport – includes information about booster doses.

It’s unclear, right now, how many people worldwide have received a COVID-19 booster. Worldwide, nearly 60% of the global population has received at least one vaccine dose, according to data from the New York Times. Countries where at least 40% of residents have received a booster include Uruguay, Iceland, Israel, Chile and Gibraltar, according to Bloomberg. Countries like the U.S. have encouraged eligible people to receive a booster shot.

Featured photo by Nisangha/Getty Images

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