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These popular tourist destinations have 'vaccine expiration' dates for Canadians

As travel opens up, you need to double-check you'll be able to visit.
France, Spain, Croatia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Belgium have coronavirus vaccine expiration dates. Here is what Canadian travellers need to know.

Canada lifted its nonessential travel advisory in March and the pre-entry coronavirus testing requirement in April — but the vaccine requirements remain in place. 

Travellers must receive a full course (two doses) of a Health Canada-approved vaccine prior to entry to the country.

Other countries have also dropped their pre-arrival testing requirements and some of them have even dropped their vaccine requirements. 

If you plan on travelling south of the border, you must also be fully vaccinated. However, travellers to the United States must show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than one day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days before they board their flight. Find out more information about the requirements

Some countries provide options for unvaccinated travellers

Thailand will allow unvaccinated travellers to enter the country by a "5-day Alternate Quarantine" or a "No Quarantine" program if they have a pre-departure PCR test. 

While a pre-entry test is not required for fully-vaccinated travellers, both unvaccinated and fully-vaccinated travellers must show proof of COVID-19 insurance coverage. All visitors must have an approved Thailand Pass to enter Thailand.

Italy requires travellers to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. 

Countries that have set expiration dates for vaccines 

In 2021, a couple of popular tourist destinations announced that they were setting vaccine expiration dates for travellers: Austria and Croatia. 

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. If their last dose fell outside of that time frame, they needed a booster shot. 

While the travel requirements for Croatia remain the same, Austria has amended its rules. Travellers may now show valid proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery.

A booster dose received at least 90 days after the second dose (or 14 days after a single inoculation with J&J/Janssen) will "extend the validity of vaccination status for an additional 270 days starting on the day of receipt of the booster dose," according to the Austrian Embassy

More countries have implemented expiration dates 

In line with other European Union members, Belgium has also implemented the 270-day expiration on vaccines. Every person travelling from Canada to Belgium must complete a 'Passenger Locator Form' (PLF) within six months prior to arrival.  Canada is classified by Belgium as a "red zone" and travel to the country is discouraged. 

The Czech Republic and Spain also have also implemented the rule. 

France considers Canada a "green" country, meaning it has a negligible or moderate circulation of COVD-19. The country considers vaccination complete seven days after the second dose of an approved vaccine or 28 days after one dose of the Janssen vaccine.

Since Feb. 1, however, travellers must have received a booster dose of messenger RNA vaccine no later than nine months after receiving the last mandatory dose to have their vaccination considered complete. 

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.