Countries Using a Vaccine Passport

September 24, 2021

Countries Using a Vaccine Passport

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Learn More About Countries Using the New Vaccine Passport

After more than 18 months in the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 vaccination initiatives worldwide have added a line of defense against the spread of the virus, allowing international travel to resume. As the global health situation continues to evolve, 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 COVID 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 COVID vaccination requirements with your airline and destination country before traveling.

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.

As of August 2021, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that people who are not fully vaccinated should avoid international travel. The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of virus variants, such as the Delta strain, differs by country. For that reason, "Travelers need to pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling."

Countries Currently Requiring Proof of Vaccination

Here's an overview of how some countries require travelers to verify their health and vaccination status. Keep in mind these guidelines may change without notice. Before traveling internationally, also note that visa requirements may differ due to the pandemic.

Questions About Vaccine Passports

true Q. Will I need the COVID-19 vaccine to fly?

International air travelers to the U.S. do not need a coronavirus vaccination to fly. But all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, need a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before travel. Travelers may also present documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before boarding a flight to the U.S.

true Q. Will the European Union allow vaccinated tourists?

It depends. As of early September, 29 European countries are open to vaccinated U.S. travelers. But two countries closed their borders to U.S. visitors, and two countries closed to unvaccinated U.S. travelers but remained open to vaccinated visitors. Nine have quarantine requirements for unvaccinated Americans.

true 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.

true Q. Should I travel internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The U.S. Department of State recommends checking its travel advisory webpage while planning international travel. As of mid-September, many countries have a "reconsider travel" or "do not travel" advisory due to COVID-19. The CDC and the World Health Organization also provide regularly updated, country-specific information.

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