Government to introduce nine-month limit on vaccine certificates from February
After the EU announced a nine-month limit on the validity of COVID-19 vaccines for travellers, the Dutch government is considering introducing the same rule for vaccination certificates in the CoronaCheck app.
Boosters required to extend validity of vaccination certificates
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that, from February onwards, those in the Netherlands with a vaccination certificate will likely be required to have also received a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
In addition to introducing what is essentially an expiration date for COVID-19 vaccinations, the government is looking into shortening the validity of recovery certificates. In November, proof of recovery certificates were announced to be valid for a full year, but this period may be cut down to 180 days.
The government has already said it feels this rule is necessary as the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines is known to decrease over time. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said: “That is why it is so important to get your booster: to be protected again, but also for the coronavirus certificate and to be able to travel.”
Current rules for COVID-19 certificates in the Netherlands
While nothing concrete has been announced, the vaccine rules in the Netherlands are likely to follow EU regulations. From February 1, the European Commission has confirmed that EU Digital COVID-19 Certificates will only be recognised as valid up to nine months after the initial round of immunisation, and that booster shots must be administered no more than six months after the most recent dose.
According to current rules set out by the Dutch government, in order to quality for a valid coronavirus certificate, you must:
- Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency at least 14 days ago (28 days if you received Janssen)
- You have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 24 hours
- You tested positive for COVID-19 at least 11 days ago but no more than 365 days ago
Rules on the validity of booster shots are yet to be discussed, as authorities say it is not yet clear how long the additional jab will offer protection.
Thumb: Henk Vrieselaar via Shutterstock.