Kenya Visa

Kenyans will be able to enter SA visa- free from 1 January 2023 – Image : File

Had vaccine, can travel abroad anytime? Think again…

Vaccine validity is the new stumbling block for fully vaccinated individuals who will not be able to enter countries that have now set cut-off dates for unrestricted entry.

Kenya Visa

Kenyans will be able to enter SA visa- free from 1 January 2023 – Image : File

Being fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine tends to bring relief and hope to many individuals. For fully vaccinated individuals there is also the benefit of eased travel requirements for international trips.


Many countries have begun opening their borders to international visitors from abroad, provided they have been fully vaccinated with approved vaccines, as determined by the governments of the countries concerned. 

Vaccinated South Africans can now travel to Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain and Germany without needing to quarantine on arrival. There are indications that Canada will grant quarantine-free entry to fully vaccinated visitors next month.

Fully vaccinated individuals can now travel to a number of destinations with eased entry restrictions but there is however, a new concern for vaccinated travellers.


While scientists are still examining the efficacy of the vaccines which are currently in use, there are concerns about the period of efficacy of the vaccines.  Two countries have already put time limits on the validity of vaccination certificates for international visitors.

Austria will only accept international travellers who have been fully vaccinated within 270 days of travel. Croatia has also imposed restrictions on vaccine validity. It will only allow entry to those who received their second shot within 210 days of travel.

This means for example, that travellers who have received their second dose in August this year, will be able to visit Austria up to a date in May 2022, and Croatia only up to a date in March 2022.


Several countries, including the US and the UK, are considering booster jabs, after it was found that the immunity afforded by vaccinations appears to recede slightly over time.

According to TravelNews, US federal health authorities have recommended booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (and possibly those immunised with Johnson & Johnson).

The World Health Organisation has however, criticised the decision to give US citizens a third shot while most people around the world haven’t yet even had one dose.  The UK government says it will start a booster programme in September for those who first received vaccines originally.