All across Europe coronavirus restrictions are falling away and cross-border travel has become much simpler.

However, late on Wednesday the French authorities announced that travellers who were double-jabbed more than nine months ago will also need a booster jab to be considered ‘fully-vaccinated.’ Without a jab administered since last May, travellers will be considered unvaccinated and unable to travel, with immediate effect.

The only exception to the rule will be those who are travelling for essential reasons, such as visiting a dying relative. Tourism is not considered as such.

Eurostar warned passengers of the change late in the day: “If you had your full vaccine course 9 months ago or more AND you haven’t had a COVID-19 vaccine booster, you must follow the rules for unvaccinated passengers to enter France.”

The need for a booster jab to enjoy test-free UK returns could come into effect at the end of February. Those returning to the UK after February 11 will not have to take travel tests if fully vaccinated, which means two jabs.

While information published here is believed to be accurate, readers are advised to consult the UK and French government websites for the most up-to-date travel requirements.

A French border police officer controls passengers as they arrive at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Nice, France, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard