How to Get a COVID Passport for Travel
With many countries around the world having opened their borders international travel is back on the cards for many people. With more and more people having received COVID-19 vaccinations, and with some countries relying on tourism, rules and regulations have been relaxed.
Many countries, particularly those that opened borders earlier than others, have introduced a COVID passport. This name vary between different locations and the document may come in different shapes and sizes depending on where you are. Digital and paper certificates have been issued by some and China has even adopted a QR code.
If you’re thinking of travelling abroad you will want to know if any documentation is required in regards to COVID or your vaccination status. Below, Expatriate Group will help you understand what a COVID passport is and what you might require if visiting certain countries.
What is a COVID passport?
Whether a COVID passport is digital or physical, it will typically contain:
- Personal details
- Health records
- Vaccination status
Depending on where you’re travelling to, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the documentation you will need. You can find details on whether you need a COVID passport – or the country’s equivalent – via the government or embassy website of that particular country.
COVID passport UK
When you travel to England, one of the countries which makes up the UK, you do not need to be fully vaccinated. You will not need to complete a passenger locator form, take any COVID-19 tests before your flight, or quarantine on arrival regardless of vaccination status. England is open and entry into the country is as it was before the pandemic.
If you’re leaving the UK you can still get a digital NHS COVID Pass. Some countries require this, others don’t. You will need to check the rules of the country you’re travelling to.
Travelling to Wales is the same as England; all rules have been removed. You do not need to complete any forms or testing. You will not need to quarantine or isolate on arrival. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, the same rules apply.
If you’re flying to Scotland you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, take any COVID tests before or after arrival, or isolate when you land regardless of vaccination status.
Travellers to Northern Ireland are not required to complete a passenger locator form, take any COVID tests before or after arrival, or isolate when you land regardless of vaccination status.
EU vaccine passport
In July 2021 the EU Digital COVID Certificate regulation entered into application. All EU citizens and their family members can get the certificate and it is digital proof that a person has either:
- Been fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Received a negative test result
- Recently recovered from COVID-19
The EU Digital COVID Certificate helped free movement restrictions between the member states. However, many of these countries now no longer have any regulations in place and travel is permitted.
All COVID restrictions have been lifted in the following European countries:
No paperwork, testing, or isolation is required for travel to these countries regardless of vaccination status. As things can change so quickly, please always refer to the embassy or government guidelines of the country you’re travelling to.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Germany – unless travelling from China for which you will need to provide a reason
- North Macedonia
- Vatican City
France covid passport
Those with the EU Digital COVID Certificate can travel to France restriction free.
France no longer requires fully vaccinated travellers to present a negative COVID test. However, a passenger locator form will still need to be completed.
Unvaccinated visitors will need to present a negative PCR taken less than 72 hours before departure, or an antigen test less than 48 hours beforehand.
Travel to Kosovo
Those travelling to Kosovo are required to prove that they have either received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days or evidence of two doses and a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
Travel to Luxembourg
Those with the EU Digital COVID Certificate can travel to Luxembourg restriction free. As can those from the Schengen area, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and Vatican City.
All other visitors must provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days.
Travel to Malta
Those with the EU Digital COVID Certificate can travel to Malta restriction free.
Travellers to Malta must present one of the following:
- Proof of full vaccination
- A negative PCR test from the last 72 hours
- A negative Rapid Antigen Test with the last 24 hours prior
- A certificate of recovery in the last 180 days
Monaco has adopted the EU traffic light system.
There are currently no countries on the red list.
Visitors from ‘green’ countries will need to provide proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR or Lateral Flow test dated in the last 24 hours, or proof of COVID recovery in the previous 6 months.
Travellers from ‘orange’ countries must present either proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery in the last six months.
Those who aren’t fully vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID in the previous 6 months will need to present a negative PCR or antigen test less than 24 hours before arrival and either isolate for 7 days on arrival in Monaco or take a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and again on day five, six or seven.
Those with the EU Digital COVID Certificate can travel to the Netherlands restriction free. Travellers from the Schengen area or EU countries can also enter without restrictions. This extends to a list of safe countries supplied by the government.
Travellers from all other countries must provide either proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery in the last 180 days.
All arrivals into Portugal will need to show they are fully vaccinated. Alternatively, the country will accept a COVID recovery certificate or negative test result to enter. This can be either a PCR test taken 72 hours before departure or a rapid antigen test 24 hours before.
Travel to Russia is not currently advised.
However, those who must visit will be required to provide a negative PCR test result dated 48 hours prior to arrival. This applies regardless of vaccination status. On board a flight to Russia you will be given a form to fill in.
Those with the EU Digital COVID Certificate can travel to Spain restriction free. Visitors from EU or Schengen Areas no longer need to show any COVID documents to enter Spain.
Travellers from outside the EU and Schengen Area must be able to prove they are fully vaccinated. Alternatively, a recovery certificate or a negative test will need to be presented.
Australia covid entry requirements
Travellers to Australia no longer need to do any pre-flight COVID testing. However, the rules and regulations for international travellers is per state or territory. We strongly suggest you check the information for the state or territory your flight will be landing in.
In general, however, fully vaccinated travellers with a vaccination certificate will be permitted entry.
If you’re unvaccinated things may be a bit harder. Not all airlines or states are accepting unvaccinated visitors. However, it is best to check the website of the state or territory you are planning on travelling to.
USA entry requirements COVID
Most fully vaccinated travellers can enter the USA. You will need to have an appropriate certificate of full vaccination. You will not have to isolate when you arrive in the USA, but you are encouraged to take a COVID test within 3 – 5 days of arrival unless you have recovered from COVID in the past 90 days.
Unless you are a US Citizen, US National, or US Lawful Permanent Resident you will not be able to enter the country unless you are fully vaccinated.
What about COVID passports and requirements for other countries?
There are 195 countries in the world – that’s 195 potential different sets of rules and requirements. Fortunately, a high number of countries have now returned to a level of normalcy regarding travel and there is no need for any type of COVID passport or certificate to gain entry.
We recommend that you check the government or embassy website of the country you’re travelling to before you depart. This means you will have the most up-to-date information and can obtain the relevant documents ahead of schedule should you need to. Don’t forget, wherever you’re jetting to, international travel insurance should be purchased to help keep you protected whilst overseas.