Where you can travel to with children and teens, and nations’ entry and vaccine rules


Families with children aged 12 to 15 years old hoping to holiday overseas are encountering a baffling array of restrictions for single-jabbed teenagers.

The UK is the only developed nation not to offer second jabs to children aged 12 and over, leaving families facing a mess of red tape and travel bans.

And the idea of “single vaccination status” is not recognised internationally, meaning that 12 to 15-year-olds are classed as unvaccinated when travelling.

At the same time, children aged 12 and over will find that they are too old to fall under the more lenient travel rules for young children travelling with parents.

Many countries which do offer vaccinations to children aged 12s and over expect visitors of the same age to be fully jabbed.

For some, such as Germany, this can mean that unvaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds have no way of entering the country on holiday.

In others, such as France, it can mean regular testing while in the country to adhere to strict domestic Covid pass rules.

Paul Charles, founder of travel PR specialists The PC Agency, accused the Government of creating a “hotchpotch of rules which continue to confuse consumers.”

He called on ministers to “enable a second jab to be given quickly” and “for teenagers to have access to the NHS digital app so that families can enjoy a trouble-free holiday as soon as possible.”

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 to 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.”

Below, we explain the travel rules for teenagers hoping to visit some of the most popular family holiday destinations.

Unjabbed teens are banned from entering

Germany

Entry: No entry for unvaccinated children aged 12 and over. Under-12s can enter with a vaccinated parent or guardian.

Domestic Covid pass rules: Varies by state, city or region, but getting stricter in most due to a new wave of infections. Some regions require proof of vaccination or recent recovery from virus for over-12s, and will not accept negative tests.

Malta

Entry: No entry for unvaccinated children aged 12 and over. Under-12s must enter with a vaccinated adult and take a pre-departure PCR test, within 72 hours of their departure time. Under-fives exempt.

Domestic Covid pass rules: Bars and restaurants can choose to require proof of vaccination for anyone aged 12 upwards.

Canada

Entry – No entry for unvaccinated children aged 12 and over (unless self-isolating for two weeks). Under-12s must enter with a vaccinated adult, and take a pre-departure PCR test (72 hours), plus arrival and day-eight tests provided by the Canadian government. For 14 days, children must not travel on crowded transportation or attend large crowded settings. Under-fours exempt.

Domestic Covid pass rules: Varies by province. Most mandate vaccines for public spaces.

Unjabbed teens can enter but are banned from public spaces in…

Austria

Entry: Unvaccinated 12 to 18-year-olds can enter with a vaccinated adult from 12 December once national lockdown ends.

Domestic Covid pass rules: From 12 December an NHS Covid Pass proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery, will be mandatory for entry to any public places for all children aged 12 and over. Negative tests will not beaccepted.

Unjabbed teens can enter but must test regularly to go into public spaces in…

France

Entry: Unvaccinated under-18s can enter with a parent/guardian.

Domestic Covid pass rules: NHS Covid Pass accepted. Children aged 12 to 15 must test regularly in lieu of Covid Pass. Antigen or PCR test is valid for 48 hours.

Italy

Entry: Proof of vaccination and PCR or antigen test (48 hours) and vaccination. Under 18s are exempt from vaccination if accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. Under-fives are exempt from testing.

Domestic Covid pass rules: NHS Covid Pass accepted. Children aged 12-15 must test regularly in lieu of Covid Pass. An antigen or PCR test is valid for 48 hours.

Unjabbed teens can enter but are barred from public spaces in some cities, and must take an extra arrival test in…

USA

Entry: Unvaccinated under-18s welcome but must take extra test on days three and five.

Domestic Covid pass rules: Some of the USA’s most popular states for holidaymakers, including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Colorado, Louisiana, and Hawaii, have vaccine mandates in place. The NHS Covid Pass is accepted as proof of vaccination domestically. However, in some states or cities children aged 12 and over must show proof of vaccination to enter public spaces, so check rules for your destination before booking.

Unjabbed teens can enter but but must take an extra pre-departure Covid test in…

Spain

Entry: Unvaccinated children aged 12 and over must take PCR test (72 hours).

Domestic Covid passport rules: None.

Greece

Entry: Unvaccinated over 12s must take a PCR test (72 hours) or antigen test (48 hours), or show proof of recovery.

Domestic Covid passport rules: None.

Portugal

Entry: Unvaccinated children aged 12 and over must take an antigen test (48 hours) or PCR test (72 hours).

Domestic Covid passport rules: None.

Unjabbed teens can enter and are free to go into public spaces with a parent or guardian

Switzerland

Entry: Unvaccinated young people aged 18 and under can enter with a parent or guardian.

Domestic Covid pass rules: NHS Covid Pass accepted. Under-18s exempt.

Ireland

Entry: As members of the Common Travel Area there are no restrictions on travel between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Domestic Covid pass rules: Yes. NHS Covid Pass accepted for adults. Children accompanied by adults are exempt.

Dubai

Entry: PCR test (72 hours). Under-12s are exempt.

Domestic Covid passport rules: None.



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