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NHS app will show proof of a third vaccination

The NHS app is being updated to show proof of booster jabs in a move which could save Christmas travel plans for the elderly and vulnerable.

It will appear on the travel section of the Covid pass, allowing Britons to visit parts of Europe which now require evidence of a third dose.

While the new feature will initially be limited to travel, it could also make it easier for the UK Government to make the third jab compulsory in domestic circumstances. 

Boris Johnson warned on Monday that the concept of full vaccination would need to be adjusted – with a third jab becoming part of it.

Almost 14million Britons have had the booster but the goal is to administer 40million to people over the age of 40. Younger adults may also be offered the jabs in the near future.

A small but growing number of countries, including Switzerland, Croatia and Israel, are now requesting proof of boosters for arrivals vaccinated many months ago.

France has indicated that proof of a third jab will be required for over-65s to access most venues from December 15.

Austria had required proof of a booster but announced today it is going into a full nationwide lockdown from Monday.

The move, which comes just days after the Government imposed a lockdown only for the unvaccinated, makes Austria the first Western European to retreat back into a draconian shutdown since the summer.

A fresh wave of Delta is rolling across the continent and putting pressure on hospitals once again, which has forced most in the EU to bring back some form of curbs.

Proof of a booster jab will soon appear on the travel section of the Covid pass, potentially helping Britons in countries where it is required

The NHS app is being updated to show proof of booster jabs. Pictured: A woman is given a booster jab in Windsor, England on Monday

The NHS app is being updated to show proof of booster jabs. Pictured: A woman is given a booster jab in Windsor, England on Monday

Millions of people who have had a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine are now able to prove this via the NHS app.

Travellers who have had a extra jab will be able to display their vaccination status on the NHS Covid Pass from midday, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the move aims to make it easier to travel abroad.

He said: ‘We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.

‘This update to the NHS Covid Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.

‘Getting a top-up jab is our best defence against this virus and I urge all those who are eligible to come forward and get boosted.’

Austria is among the European nations worst-affected by the new wave of Covid, with infections soaring rapidly even as cases rise across most nations on the continent. Generally, those with the lowest vaccination rates are being hit hardest

Austria is among the European nations worst-affected by the new wave of Covid, with infections soaring rapidly even as cases rise across most nations on the continent. Generally, those with the lowest vaccination rates are being hit hardest

Austria makes vaccines mandatory for EVERYONE and imposes full nationwide lockdown 

Austria has become the first European country to make Covid vaccines mandatory for everyone as the government scrapped its ‘vaccine apartheid’ in favour of a full nationwide lockdown today.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced that, from February 1, everyone will be legally required to have a Covid vaccine or face unspecified ‘penalties’. He did not make it clear which age groups will be included, though it is assumed there will be exemptions for the very young and those who cannot be jabbed for medical reasons.

‘For a long time there was consensus in this country that we do not want vaccinations to be compulsory,’ he said. For a long time, maybe too long, it was assumed that it would be possible to achieve a high vaccination rate even without an obligation. Now we have to face reality.’

Health Minister Wolfgang Muckstein said the government has consulted with constitutional lawyers who suggested such a move would be legal, but said the start of the mandate has been pushed to next year to allow for a ‘proper review period’.

In the meantime, everyone in Austria will be barred from leaving their homes starting on Monday, with all non-essential shops closed along with most workplaces and schools. Previously, the measures had only applied to unvaccinated people. 

The shock announcement came as it was revealed that Europe is now in the midst of its biggest-ever Covid wave with the continent’s one-day infection tally hitting a record high on Wednesday.

There were 310,000 Covid infections registered across Europe in the last 24 hours, according to the Our World in Data site, which tops the previous one-day peak of 290,000 cases logged around the same time last year.  

Almost 14million booster vaccines and third doses have been delivered across the UK so far, and the programme was extended to those aged between 40 and 49 this week.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said people can book appointments up to a month before they are eligible for the booster.

She said: ‘Getting a booster is the best way you can protect yourself ahead of winter and it’s great those who have come forward can now demonstrate their vaccination status through the NHS Covid Pass if they are travelling overseas.

‘It has also never been easier to book your booster, with walk-in sites open across the country and appointments available to pre-book a month before you are eligible for your top-up.’

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, welcomed the app’s latest development but said the Government must also ‘urgently’ update it so that teenagers can show their vaccine status too.

He said: ‘Adding the booster certification to the app is a major step forward today.

‘It gives a confidence boost to those who were putting off booking for the Christmas period and it now means they can travel with their vaccine status up to date.

‘But it’s not the end of the story, we need to see the Government update the app urgently for those aged between 12 and 17.

‘Those who are fully up to date with the available vaccines, and that includes teenagers who have had one vaccine because that’s all they’re allowed, should have the gift of being able to travel without worry.’

Thomas Cook also welcomed the news.

A spokesperson for the travel agent said: ‘It’s great news that the Government is allowing the latest vaccination status to be shown in the app to enable people to demonstrate their status.’

Booster doses will not be added to the domestic Covid Pass because it is not currently a requirement for travel within the UK.

It will also not be necessary to show evidence of a booster for travel into England.

Almost 20million people have accessed the Covid Pass via the NHS app since it was launched on May 17, the DHSC has said.  

It comes as Austria became the first European country to make Covid vaccines mandatory for everyone.

The government there has also scrapped its ‘vaccine apartheid’ lockdown for the unvaccinated in favour of a full nationwide shutdown which will start on Monday.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced that, from February 1, everyone will be legally required to have a Covid vaccine or face unspecified ‘penalties’. 

He did not make it clear which age groups will be included, though it is assumed there will be exemptions for the very young and those who cannot be jabbed for medical reasons.

‘For a long time there was consensus in this country that we do not want vaccinations to be compulsory,’ he said. For a long time, maybe too long, it was assumed that it would be possible to achieve a high vaccination rate even without an obligation. Now we have to face reality.’

Health Minister Wolfgang Muckstein said the government has consulted with constitutional lawyers who suggested such a move would be legal, but said the start of the mandate has been pushed to next year to allow for a ‘proper review period’.

In the meantime, everyone in Austria will be barred from leaving their homes starting on Monday, with all non-essential shops closed along with most workplaces and schools. Previously, the measures had only applied to unvaccinated people. 

The shock announcement came as it was revealed that Europe is now in the midst of its biggest-ever Covid wave with the continent’s one-day infection tally hitting a record high on Wednesday.

There were 310,000 Covid infections registered across Europe in the last 24 hours, according to the Our World in Data site, which tops the previous one-day peak of 290,000 cases logged around the same time last year.  

Meanwhile Ireland, which imposed a nigh-time curfew on hospitality businesses this week, has today placed its hospitals on a ‘war footing’ with routine operations cancelled to make room for Covid patients amid a warning from the country’s top doctor that intensive care medics face ‘unthinkable’ choices over who to give care to.

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