Israel’s policy is currently closest to Switzerland’s, but it will likely change one day. A second or third chance is only valid for six months, so under those rules, anyone who got their booster in December would not be able to participate in June or July unless a fourth chance becomes available. But according to Tourist Israel, a tour operator that closely follows the rules, the country is expected to waive time limits on boosters in March. (Exceptions are currently being made for people who can show a Covid recovery certificate.)
How do other types of vaccine expiration dates affect travelers?
In some cases — for example in France and Estonia — there are time limits for the validity of full vaccinations without booster (nine months for France and one year for Estonia). Since these countries prohibit tourists from the United States and some other countries from visiting if they are not fully vaccinated, it means that a traveler who received a second Moderna injection before May 17 will not be able to enter France unless he first gets a boost. Having a booster makes things easier when it comes to timing constraints, as these places treat boosters as sort of an expiratory extra dose.
Ireland and the Czech Republic are treating anyone who received their second dose more than nine months ago as if they had not been vaccinated. Croatia is following the same approach, but making it more than a year. But their governments are not banning unvaccinated American tourists from entering. A traveler who received a second injection of Moderna before May 17 could take a test or be boosted to enter these countries.
Are there any countries that need a boost to enter?
Austria, for example, does not consider a person to be fully vaccinated unless they have had the booster. But travelers who don’t meet that requirement can still enter the country by getting a negative result from a PCR test.
Why do countries impose these deadlines?
One reason, Ms. Bonga said, is to encourage people to get boosters.
There is also some evidence that coronavirus vaccines may not provide as much protection over time.
What if different entities and sites give me conflicting information?
This can happen. Getting the answer to Mr. Henretta’s question about traveling to Switzerland, for example, was far from easy. The fact that the last shot of a vaccine expired after 270 days was clear, but some sources disagreed on whether or not unvaccinated Americans were allowed to enter the country. A representative of the country’s traveler information line suggested they could; in that case, Mr. Henretta could simply give a negative test result. Swiss International Air Lines initially offered the same response on its site and by email. But the Secretariat of State for Migration, two representatives of the Swiss tourism board and the official Swiss entry tool took a different view: unvaccinated and partially vaccinated American tourists could not enter. Finally, a representative of Swiss International Air Lines clarified that while unvaccinated visitors from some countries can take a test, unvaccinated Americans cannot because the United States is currently classified as a high-risk country.
In the end, almost everyone agreed: Mr Henretta couldn’t take his long-booked flight until a fourth chance became available or the rules changed, which happens quite often.