Threat to European family holidays as single-vaccinated teenagers face venues ban

Family holidays to Europe are under threat as single-jabbed teenagers face being banned from restaurants, hotels and bars.

Countries including France, Austria and Germany are restricting access to leisure and hospitality venues to people who have been double-jabbed or have a Covid certificate showing they have previously contracted the virus.

The move puts British teenagers aged 12 to 17 at a disadvantage because the Government has only sanctioned a single vaccination for that age group. It means they will not be recognised as vaccinated by EU nations that have double-jabbed teenagers.

In countries such as Austria and – it is expected – the Netherlands, as well as the German states of Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia, single-jabbed children will not be allowed into venues ranging from leisure and ski facilities to restaurants, pubs and clubs.

These have decided effectively to bar unvaccinated people from public venues because there is no option to take a Covid test to prove negative status.

In contrast, France, for the time being, is proposing that unvaccinated tourists including teenagers will be able to access venues if they can show a negative test no older than 72 hours – although this will be an added cost and complication for holidaying families.

"Families with teenagers may be able to get into these countries, but they could have problems getting into venues," said a senior travel industry source. "Some countries may allow you to do testing, but some may not.

"The rules are changing as we speak. It’s very difficult to keep track of what you can do where. It reflects the difference in what the UK’s medical advisers are saying and what EU medical advisers are saying. Which should the Government stick with?

"The Government should have a big, hard look at its vaccination programmes. They may be adequate from a medical perspective, but it should also be about facilitating normal life which includes taking your children abroad to ski or to visit the Louvre. Is that still possible?"

Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: "We are seeing other countries introduce tougher rules for those who haven’t got two jabs or a booster. It is starting to put people off travelling to certain countries.

"The UK Government’s health policy is restricting families. At least they should give children the option of being double vaccinated. We need closer co-ordination with other countries so that these restrictions are not acting as a barrier to a return to normality."

The moves, which have been fuelled by concerns over another wave of Covid this winter as cases rise, come on top of countries requiring people to show they have had booster jabs in order to enter restaurants, clubs and other venues.

On Thursday, France became the latest country to add booster jabs to its Covid pass for entry to venues, starting with over-65s from Dec 15 before it is likely to be extended to over-50s in the New Year.

It follows similar moves by Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Israel, which have set time limits on the validity of vaccinations unless travellers entering the country have boosted their immunity with follow-up third jabs.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has, however, yet to update the NHS Covid pass to include booster jabs for the over-50s, for whom the vaccinations are currently being rolled out, although it says it is keeping it under review.

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