Home Europe Travel Covid app fault threatens Christmas family holidays to Europe

Covid app fault threatens Christmas family holidays to Europe

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Many families will be planning winter getaways in Europe as the festive season approaches.

Ski breaks, trips to cities and visits to see relatives will all be on the agenda ahead of Christmas – and naturally people will be factoring in the complexities that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to international travel.

But an issue with the NHS Covid app threatens to put holidays on the continent in further jeopardy.

Families travelling to Europe for Christmas face being penalised because children under 16 are not eligible to download a Covid pass in the app to prove they have received a vaccination or that they have tested negative, MyLondon reports.

Many European counties, including Spain and France, now require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter hospitality venues, including ski resorts, for people aged 12 and over.

This means that parents might be forced to pay up to £25 every two days for a recorded lateral flow test for their child in order to obtain a temporary pass.

Meanwhile over-60s travelling to countries such as France, where proof of a booster jab can be required, may face difficulties too – as the NHS app does not allow people to register their top-up dose.

Top winter destinations including Austria and Switzerland have imposed time limits on the validity of vaccinations unless travellers have strengthened their immunity with further jabs.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy PC Agency said: “The government’s digital app urgently needs updating to enable children to not only show their vaccinated status domestically, at school for example, but also overseas where more border officials and restaurants require digital proof for access.

“Vaccines should mean a return to normality, not fewer freedoms abroad. The government needs an urgent fix to the app to enable families to plan and book Christmas holidays, otherwise many will be put off.”

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