12-15 Year Olds Now Eligible for Covid-19 Travel Pass
14th December 2021
The UK government has announced that the under-16s are now eligible for an NHS Covid Pass for international travel. It’s good news for families planning a ski holiday, though only if the children are double jabbed. UPDATED
Until now only the over-16s have been able to get a Covid Pass proving their vaccination status to use for the purposes of travel.
The change means 12 to 15-year-olds who have had a full course of an approved vaccine will be able demonstrate their vaccination status to support border entry and in-country health pass requirements.
This includes several ski nations.
The Covid Pass will come in the form of a letter with an internationally recognised 2D barcode.
The letter will be valid for 30 days and could take up to 7 working days to be delivered.
It can be ordered by calling 119 or via the website NHS.UK.
The government says it has plans for a ‘digital solution’ early next year.
“The move will enable families to plan holidays in 2022 with greater confidence, as parents can be reassured they will be able to evidence their child’s vaccination status once they have had both doses of the vaccine,” said the Health and Social Care secretary, Sajid Javid.
The move is unlikely to lead to a big rush for Christmas ski trips.
For one thing, the hard copy of the Covid pass letter might not arrive in time.
More importantly, the majority of 12 to 15-year olds will only have had one dose of the vaccine so far.
That age group only became eligible for one dose of the vaccine in late September.
On 29th November, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended they should receive a second dose.
This would be administered no earlier than 12 weeks after the first.
But could it be good news for family holidays at February half-term and Easter?
“We understand the apprehension families have been feeling about the testing requirements in resort for teenagers, which is why at Inghams we gave those departing in December the option to move their holiday to a later date,” said the CEO of Inghams, Joe Ponte.
“If this system can be up and running in time for February, combined with the accelerated roll-out of 2nd jabs for 12-15 year olds, it could be a game changer for families to give them the confidence to travel with us in the second half of the season.
“It’s a step in the right direction for sure, but given so many school children have now had Covid – and now have natural immunity – to not also include the option for proof of recovery feels like a missed opportunity.”
See here for the Inghams Covid-19 Hub with all the information its customers need to know.
Other UK operators have reacted in a similar fashion.
“It’s obviously something to be welcomed. It clearly is going to help families later on in the season,” said Craig Burton, Managing Director of the specialist agent, Ski Solutions.
“But what would have been better is if they allowed 12 to 15 year-olds to be issued with a letter as proof of recovery.
“So many of them have had Covid. If you’re 16 or over you can get digital proof of recovery but 12 to 15-year-olds are in limbo.
“All the European nations accept proof of recovery if you’ve have the virus in the last six months but British kids have got no way of getting that.
“We are continuing to lobby and make a lot of noise about this. It’s the single most troublesome issue.”
There has been swift reaction on the PlanetsKI Facebook page with dozens and dozens of comments.
Becky Horton: Not good news for us….supposed to be going to Austria on 27th Dec…my 13 yr old has only had single jab…..won’t be eligible for his second until March?! I don’t think any 12-15yr old will have been doubly jabbed yet? Basically he can get in to Austria but can’t ski
Sam Cadman: Holiday cancelled! How do you get a 14-year old double jabbed??
Andy Cranmer: No 2nd jabs available for u16s yet unless there’s a medical requirement. So pretty pointless at the moment. But you can use the nhs covid confirmation email, the proof of 1 jab and passport to get the passe sanitare from local pharmacies for€36, collection on person.
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