EU agrees to shorten coronavirus vaccine passport validity to 9 months
The validity of coronavirus vaccine certificates will be shortened from 12 months to nine and renewal will be dependent on booster shots, leaders of the European Union agreed on Thursday.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) told ERR's Brussels correspondent after the European Commission meeting it is important people get their booster shots within a year as protection against coronavirus weakens over time.
"Unfortunately, people often do not think only about health, but they think if this proof [pass] is still valid then they do not [need to] go and get a booster yet. But it is needed to be protected," she said.
It is not yet known how long this rule will last.
Kallas, who was also representing Denmark at the meeting due to Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen's absence, raised the spread of the new Omicron variant at the meeting.
"Government leaders are concerned about the spread of the virus [...] but there is no light at the end of the tunnel," she told ERR. "The question is how to survive these waves [of coronavirus] as easily as possible."
No final agreement was reached on the harmonization of travel restrictions, including testing rules.
Leaders also discussed energy prices, Ukraine, Belarus and security issues.
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Editor: Helen Wright