Canadians looking to travel abroad next year should consider that vaccination requirements for countries may change significantly.
Many countries around the world now allow fully vaccinated Canadians to skip quarantine but some are entertaining the idea of implementing an expiration date on when travellers received their vaccines.
Two popular European vacation destinations have already changed their travel requirements: Austria and Croatia.
Now, Canadians looking to visit either destination must have received their first dose of an approved coronavirus vaccine no more than 270 days or nine months prior to their trip.
A booster shot may allow some travellers to enter countries that implement the rule, however. A booster shot is an extra administration of a vaccine after an earlier dose. In other words, travellers who don't meet the requirement as their first dose falls outside of the 270-day expiration date may receive an extra dose to gain entry.
For now, B.C.'s top doctor says some immunocompromised British Columbians will be prioritized for a third coronavirus vaccine dose this fall.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters on Sept. 13 that a third dose of vaccine is recommended for people who are severely immunocompromised. Data shows that people who have certain immune compromising conditions may not necessarily develop a response after two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Health officials haven't provided an update on when or if B.C. residents who are not immunocompromised may receive a booster shot but Henry added that a third dose "would increase our response and prolong our response."
But even if B.C. residents receive booster shots, the timing may complicate matters.
For example, the Government of Austria states that booster doses must be received "at least 120 days after the second inoculation (or single inoculation with J&J/Janssen) to extend the validity."
No matter where you plan to travel, make sure you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave.
- Find out more information about travel to Croatia.
- Find out more information about travel to Austria.
- Find out more information about international and domestic travel for B.C. residents.