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Heathrow and Gatwick: Winter holidays in France, Italy and Austria could be at risk over UK vaccine rules

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Families looking to holiday on the continent this winter face an uphill struggle against Covid restrictions for 12 to 15-year-olds.

Brits with teenagers face paying out hundreds on frequent Covid tests due to an oversight in vaccine regulations.

France, Italy and Austria all require a domestic vaccine pass for entry into many public area including restaurants and hotels.

READ MORE: Countries in Europe you can still travel to and rules you have to follow as some go back into lockdown

However, children in the UK aged 12 to 15 don’t meet the requirements for a domestic vaccine pass as they can only receive a single jab rather than being ‘fully vaccinated’.

The Government recommended teenagers aged 16 to 17 should receive a second dose of the vaccine but no decision has been made on a second dose for those aged 12 to 15.



Woman getting vaccinated
Differences in vaccine rules could put family winter trips in some difficulty

This loophole means many people planning trips to alpine ski resorts or Christmas markets this winter will face complications.

In lieu of ‘full vaccination status’ 12 to 15-year-olds may have to prove they have recovered from Covid in the last 12 months, although the relevant certification from a private clinic can cost hundreds.

Alternatively, in France and Italy they can pay hundreds of pounds for regular testing if they cannot prove they are fully vaccinated.

However, in Austria, where a lockdown is in place, 12 to 15-year-olds would not be allowed in any public space.

There is a similar situation in Germany where 12 to 15-year-olds who are not ‘fully vaccinated’ cannot enter the country while under 12s can enter with a vaccinated guardian.



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According to the i, a spokesperson for the travel industry and CEO at The PC Agency Paul Charles criticised the Government for creating a “hotchpotch of rules which continue to confuse consumers.”

He called for the Government to enable second jabs to be given to 12 to 15-year-olds so families can enjoy a ‘trouble-free’ holiday.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The four UK Chief Medical Officers recommended a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 12-15 year olds.

“We keep all available evidence under review and we continue to follow the advice of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the future of our COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

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