This story has been updated, please click HERE for the latest version.
The UK government announced its relaxed Covid travel rules on Friday with the main change being that vaccinated travellers from Europe to England would no longer need to take pre-departure tests, and can use cheaper lateral flow (antigen) tests for their ‘Day 2’ test after arriving.
Unvaccinated travellers from the EU would still need to quarantine for 10 days, take a pre-departure test as well as PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 after arrival.
The changes come into force from October 4th.
However while the announcement spelled good news for most travellers, questions remain for two groups who have been vaccinated in France – those who had a mixed dose (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer) and those who had just a single vaccine dose after having recovered from Covid, as is standard policy in France.
The UK’s Department of Health and Social care confirmed to The Local that there was no change in policy or relaxation of rules regarding those who had received mixed vaccine doses in the EU.
However later the British Embassy in Paris and the Embassy in Germany contradicted this, saying that mixed doses would be accepted once the UK rules change on October 4th.
The Norwegian health minister Bent Høie also announced on Tuesday that the UK’s new regime would allow mixed dose vaccines.
The Local is urgently seeking clarification on this matter from the Departments of Health and Transport in London.
- Anyone vaccinated outside the UK who had two different vaccine doses eg AstraZeneca and Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna or Pfizer and Moderna
- Anyone who has previously had Covid and then had a single dose of either AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna. This is considered ‘fully vaccinated’ in France and several other European countries
For more details of the UK rules, click here.
In several European countries including France, mixing of vaccines has been quite widespread, particularly for those who had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine before guidelines on its use in individual countries changed.
Many countries (including the UK) now advise not using AstraZeneca for younger people after concerns over the risk of rare blood clots. Younger people who already had AstraZeneca for their first dose were advised by many countries’ health regulators to take Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose.
France’s health minister Olivier Véran is among those who had a dose of AstraZeneca followed by a dose of Moderna.
There is no credible medical evidence that individuals who had two different brands of Covid vaccine are less protected against the virus, in fact some studies have suggested better protection from mixing and matching doses.
These rules at present affect only arrivals in England, the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have so far not indicated a change to their definitions.
We will update this article as soon as we receive more information.