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Covid Vaccination Requirements for School Trips Abroad

Here, we answer all your most frequently asked questions regarding vaccination requirements for school trips abroad.

Do my students need to be vaccinated to travel abroad?

In recent months there has been an easing of Covid related entry requirements around the world. Many countries have removed Covid related entry requirements completely, including the requirement to be fully vaccinated. However, some countries may still require vaccination or pre-departure testing for unvaccinated travellers. You can find the most up-to-date information regarding all entry requirements on the government’s website.

Please Note: Of course, it is completely up to individuals whether they wish to take up the offer of vaccination. However, if the country you are travelling to (or through) requires them to be double vaccinated at the time of the trip and individuals in your group have chosen not to be, they would not be eligible for a full refund as they have chosen not to meet the entry requirements. Normal cancellation charges would apply to that individual, so it’s really important that parents and guardians know this before signing up for your trip.

We would always recommend that group leaders make parents aware of the following:

• Current entry requirements for the country you’re visiting (this includes passport validity, visa requirements and vaccine requirements). You can find the most up-to-date information on the government’s website.

• The circumstances in which you would qualify for a full refund or be covered by travel insurance if the trip cannot go ahead. We’ve created a PowerPoint presentation for you to use at your parents’ evening.

Are under 18s eligible for double vaccination in the UK?

Children aged 5 -17 years are eligible for double vaccination. They can book their vaccination via the NHS website.

Or they can attend their nearest walk-in centre which can be found on the NHS website.

How long does it take to be double vaccinated for travel?

For under 18s, there is, at the time of writing, a minimum gap of 12 weeks between the first and second dose. For over 18s, this gap is reduced to 8 weeks.

You are considered fully vaccinated for the purposes of travel 2 weeks after you receive your second dose.

Therefore, if under 18s need to get vaccinated for their school trip, it’s advisable that they ensure they take their first dose a minimum of 16 weeks before the departure date, so that they have enough time to receive both doses.

What are the current vaccination entry requirements for under 18s in the country I’m visiting?

You can find the most up-to-date information regarding all entry requirements on the government’s website.

The Reopen EU website also has lots of useful, up-to-date information regarding vaccine entry requirements to EU countries.

You can also find further information on specific countries here:

France

Spain

Germany

Italy

Belgium

USA

Iceland

What are the current vaccination entry requirements for returning to the UK?

On 18th March 2022, the UK removed all travel restrictions for all passengers.

For more information on this , please see the government’s website.

Do adults require a booster to travel abroad?

Many countries have now removed all vaccination entry requirements and therefore do not require any dose of vaccination to enter.

We advise that you visit the FCDO website for guidance on the entry requirements for the country you are visiting and that you check this regularly to ensure that you are fully aware and in a position to comply with those requirements at the time of travel.

UK government advice at the time of writing is that all over-18s and all over-16s who are at risk are eligible to have a booster vaccine at a minimum of 3 months after their second dose. For the most up-to-date information on booster vaccine eligibility, please see the NHS website.

Do children need to be vaccinated to take part in school trips?

In recent months there has been a relaxation of entry requirements for unvaccinated children in many countries (please check FCDO website for country entry requirements) and many countries have removed Covid vaccination entry requirements altogether.

However,some countries do still require testing and/or health forms to be completed prior to travel. As we’ve seen over the course of the pandemic, these entry requirements are not guaranteed to remain the same so, it is advisable to check the government website on a regular basis.

How do children demonstrate their vaccination status?

Children aged 12-15 years old can prove their vaccination status or recovery from a prior infection (between 10 days and 180 days after a positive PCR test) with the digital NHS Covid Pass, via the NHS app.

In order to access the digital NHS Covid Pass, children will need to register for an NHS log in (or have a parent/guardian do this on their behalf).

You will need the child’s passport to verify their identity. This usually takes 24 hours, but may take longer during busy periods, so it is advisable to register well in advance to ensure access to the pass is in place before travel.

The NHS Covid Pass can also be downloaded or printed as a PDF.

Children aged between 5 and 11 years old will need to apply for a NHS Covid pass letter.

How do adults demonstrate their vaccination status?

Adults can obtain their digital NHS Covid Pass through the NHS app or they can obtain an NHS Covid Pass letter via the NHS website.

Please note that if you were vaccinated as part of an official clinical trial in England, your clinical trial site needs to put your vaccine information on the NHS vaccination record. Some trial sites have done this already and the rest will do it soon. If this does apply to you and you cannot obtain your NHS Covid Pass, you will need to contact your clinical trial site for assistance.

What if someone in the group is not vaccinated in time or chooses not to be vaccinated?

Of course, if an individual chooses not to be vaccinated, it is their right to do so.

However, just like passport validity and visa requirements, in order to enter a country it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the entry requirements set by their destination country.

Failure to do so is considered disinclination to travel and is not covered by travel insurance.

Halsbury’s Covid Guarantee also stipulates that unvaccinated passengers signing on to a Halsbury trip do so at their own financial risk and will not receive a full refund should these entry requirements be in place at the time of travel.

So, it is important that students, parents and guardians are aware of this before signing up to take part in the trip.

How do I prove I’m medically exempt from receiving the vaccine?

For the most up-to-date information regarding proof of medical exemption, please visit the government’s website.

Please note, all information in this article was correct as of 5th January 2022. For the most up-to-date information on vaccine requirements and other entry requirements, please visit the government’s website.

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