How Europe is handling the “Green Passport”

Dear TA’s

By now, you have heard that Europe is open for travel!  However, there is a lot in the works to allow free travel within the EU, so right now, Americans should probably wait to make plans until the rules and requirements are formalized. If they must get away right now – they are free to travel to a European country where we know they will be welcomed, such as Croatia, Greece, or Italy.

Covid Vaccine Passports are in the works for all EU travel, and it is reported that seven countries are already using them: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland.  As of July 1, 2021, all 27 member nations of the EU should have vaccine passports. There are currently talks underway to allow Americans to have access to the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel, but this has not been finalized yet.

The vaccine passports are also called “Digital Green Certificates (DGC) and are designed to provide proof of a person’s Covid status – a vaccination against COVID-19, a negative test result, or if the person has recovered from COVID-19. The intention is to allow travel without testing or quarantining, however, each country can set its own rules. According to the EU, vaccination cannot be used as a pre-conditional requirement for travel.

These certificates will allow citizens of EU countries free movement around within their own country, as well as travel to other countries within the EU. The European Commission has also said it will include non-EU Member States, such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland but not the United Kingdom. The DGC will be free in either digital or paper format. It is possible that these certificates will also be used for purposes other than travel, including attendance at concerts and other events with large crowds. Austria is considering using them for access to restaurants and hotels.

For now, Americans will need to show their COVID-19 vaccination records and/or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of arrival into Europe, and in some countries, quarantine for a certain number of days if not fully vaccinated. 

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