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Key Points

  • A traveler’s vaccination status is to be used for the basis of COVID-19 travel restrictions throughout the European Union


The European Council adopted a new recommendation on a coordinated approach to safe movement throughout the European Union. Beginning February 1, 2022, the EU Council will recommend member states apply COVID-19 restrictions based on a traveler’s vaccination status rather than the region from which they traveled, except for areas with very high-risk levels.

The approach will mean that a traveler should possess a valid EU digital COVID-19 certificate, which indicates one of the following:

  • A valid EU digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate, OR
  • A negative PCR test result obtained no more than 72 hours before travel, or a negative rapid antigen test received no more than 24 hours before travel, OR
  • A certificate of recovery indicating that no more than 180 days have passed since the date of the first positive test result

Travelers who do not possess an EU Digital Certificate may be required to undergo testing before or no later than 24 hours after arrival in the EU.

What are the Changes?

The European Council will update the recommended travel rules across the EU beginning February 1, 2022. This agreement will prioritize using the EU COVID-19 vaccination certificate when traveling across the EU. Recommendations by the European Council are not legally binding, and member states of the EU will have the option to implement the recommendation as seen fit.

Looking Ahead

Continue to check the European Council’s website for the latest updates and information.

Source: The European Council, Council of the European Union

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