Countries Using a Vaccine Passport

Learn More About Countries Using the New Vaccine Passport

After more than 18 months in the coronavirus pandemic, Covid vaccination initiatives worldwide have added a line of defense against the spread of the virus, allowing international travel to resume. As the health situation continues to improve, international travelers must navigate a complicated patchwork of health-related policies on pandemic-era travel that vary by region and country.

Acceptance and use of vaccine passports varies worldwide. Also known as health passports, vaccine passports certify that a person is vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine passports store your vaccination data, along with recent coronavirus test results and other relevant health and travel information. You can share this digital health information with health or customs officials during your travels.

The European Union’s Digital Green Certificate allows free movement over the EU’s borders to citizens of about 30 countries. All EU countries plan to begin using a vaccine passport in July. In contrast, the U.S. does not plan to issue or mandate national vaccine passports.

In addition to a health certificate, countries may require proof of full vaccination and a recent negative coronavirus test. Health and travel rules may change without notice due to the evolving circumstances of the pandemic. You should verify international travel and vaccination requirements with your airline and destination country before travelling.

Students should also check with their school about on-campus vaccination opportunities and requirements in advance of the upcoming semester or studying abroad. Continue reading to learn what some top international destinations require of students and all travelers as pandemic travel restrictions relax.

Countries Currently Requiring Proof of Vaccination

Along with presenting proof of vaccination or a vaccine passport, here’s an overview of what several countries require travelers to do before, during, or after their arrival. Before traveling internationally, also note that visa requirements may differ due to the pandemic.

  • Croatia

    Start Date: June 2, 2021

    Croatia currently restricts most U.S. travelers from entering the country, unless the travel relates to urgent family or business reasons. Croatia does permit tourism with proof of accommodations paid in advance. Citizens of EU countries and their family members may also enter. To enter under one of the exemptions, travelers must present a certificate of full vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19, or a negative viral test result from the last 72 hours.

    Travelers may also take a rapid coronavirus test on arrival but must self-isolate until receiving a negative result. You must pay for the test. Anyone traveling to Croatia may expedite their border crossing process by completing the Enter Croatia form online.

  • Ecuador

    Start Date: March 22, 2021

    Upon arrival in Ecuador, travelers can show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the past 72 hours. This rule applies to everyone age 2 and up, except for airline crew members. Individuals may also present a medical certificate stating they have recovered from Covid-19.

    Additional rules apply to visit the Galapagos Islands. You must arrive in Ecuador with proof of a negative Covid-19 test from the last 72 hours. You’ll need a negative test result from the last four days to continue travel from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands. Travelers will also need a letter of transit, called a salvoconducto form, which confirms your island accommodations and itinerary.

  • France

    Start Date: June 9, 2021

    Vaccinated travelers may travel to France starting June 9. To avoid quarantining after your flight, travelers must present proof of receiving the Covid vaccination with enough time elapsed for full vaccination (two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines or four weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). You must also show a negative Covid-19 test result from the last 48 or 72 hours before departure, depending on the type of test.

    Unvaccinated travelers cannot enter France without providing a qualified travel reason. France’s health passport, available through the TousAntiCovid app, will go into use July 1. The health passport stores vaccination certificates, Covid test results, and verification of recovery from the coronavirus. Authorities will accept paper versions of these documents with photo ID.

  • Greece

    Start Date: May 14, 2021

    Fully vaccinated residents of the U.S., EU, and specific other countries may enter Greece without subsequent self-isolation. Passengers arriving in Greece by air or by ferry to the Greek islands must show proof of full vaccination 14 days before arrival. Alternatively, travelers may also provide a negative coronavirus PCR test from the last 72 hours, or a negative rapid or self-test from the last 24 hours. Travelers may also present documentation of recovery from Covid-19 within the previous 2-9 months.

    Greece accepts digital or paper documentation of negative test results performed by health professionals. Individuals may submit self-test results electronically. You may also print out and submit a paper copy of the declaration. Travelers to Greece may receive a random Covid-19 test on arrival. If you receive a random test, you may continue to your final destination but must self-quarantine for 24 hours. If positive, you’ll receive notification and must quarantine for 14 days. People with negative results do not get notified.

  • Iceland

    Start Date: March 17, 2021

    Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens may enter Iceland without testing or quarantining. Travelers must provide proof of full vaccination with a vaccine certified by the European Medical Agency. Your vaccine must also meet requirements set by the Icelandic government. Valid vaccine credentials include the World Health Organization’s Yellow Card.

    Documentation of prior proof of infection also exempts you from health-related border control measures, if the documentation meets Iceland’s requirements. However, all passengers arriving in Iceland must take two Covid-19 tests — one on arrival and another five days later. You must quarantine between tests.

  • Spain

    Start Date: June 7, 2021

    Beginning June 7, Spain will require all travelers from outside the EU’s 27 countries to provide proof of full Covid vaccination within the last 14 days. Spain requires vaccination certificates for U.S. visitors aged 12 or older. Unvaccinated U.S. citizens cannot enter Spain without meeting specific requirements or without special permission from the Spanish government.

Questions About Vaccine Passports

  • Q. Will I need the Covid vaccine to fly?

    International air travelers to the U.S. do not need a Covid vaccination to fly. However, all travelers, including fully vaccinated individuals, must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to three days before the trip. You may also provide proof of recovery from the virus within 90 days.

  • Q. Will the European Union allow vaccinated tourists?

    Yes. The European Union will allow tourists to travel between EU countries with a travel certificate starting July 1. The EU also plans to implement a free, digital health certificate that will indicate an individual’s vaccination, testing, or virus immunity status.

  • Q. Can vaccinated people travel?

    Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally. But travelers must take a mandatory Covid-19 test before traveling to the U.S. Additional CDC requirements and recommendations include wearing a mask while traveling and self quarantining after completing your trip.

  • Q. Should I travel internationally during the Covid pandemic?

    The U.S. Department of State recommends checking its travel advisory webpage while planning international travel. As of early June, many countries had a “reconsider travel” or “do not travel” advisory due to Covid-19.

Portrait of Nate Delesline III

Nate Delesline III

Nate Delesline III is a Virginia-based writer covering higher education. He has more than a decade of experience as a newspaper journalist covering public safety, local government, business, transportation, and K-12 and higher education.

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