The EU will issue “covid passports” for travel within the region

March 2, 2021
'Covid passports' for EU travel in 2021
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Photo: Adobe Stock
A single electronic vaccination certificate will be available in the EU Member States by summer 2021. Vaccinated citizens and EU residents will be able to travel around the region without restrictions. Here’s what’s known about the new document for international travel.

By February 2021, many EU Member States had issued their own versions of vaccination certificates. But it was up to each country to decide what format the covid passport would be, what information it would contain and whether it could be used for international travel.

A common European standard would avoid confusion over documents and rules of entry. Countries will be able to open their borders to tourists in the near future. And the recovery of the region’s economy depends to a large extent on the resumption of tourism. We talked about this in the article “The European Commission’s economic forecast for 2021“.

It will take about three months to prepare the technical basis for digital covid passports. This means that the new document will appear by the start of the summer holiday season. This was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference after the online EU summit.

The European Commission will also have to set the standard for the e-certificate and travel rules. For example, whether covid passport holders will be exempt from all quarantine requirements or still have to undergo a coronavirus test. It is also not yet known under what conditions those EU citizens who have not been vaccinated or have been vaccinated with a vaccine not approved by the EU government will be allowed to enter.

Another version of the covid passport from IATA

The EU may introduce uniform requirements for vaccinated tourists from third countries. In the meantime, international air carriers are developing global covid passports.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will release electronic travel documents for tourists by the end of March 2021. The mobile app will store coronavirus test results and vaccination data.

The digital format of documents will speed up check-in and customs control. Staff at London Heathrow airport say it takes about 20 minutes per person to check paper certificates. But when air travel resumes at full capacity, airports will be able to check passengers’ documents quickly.

IATA also monitors entry requirements for different countries. An interactive map with the current regulations is available on the association’s official website.

IATA World Travel Conditions Map
Signed: IATA World Travel Conditions Card dated 26 February 2021

How Russians get to Europe during a pandemic

In addition to coronavirus test results and vaccination, citizens of CIS countries need a Schengen visa to enter the European Union. In February 2021, Russians can obtain a Schengen visa only from the Greek consulate. The other countries temporarily do not issue visas due to the pandemic.

Citizens of Caribbean countries and Vanuatu do not need a visa to travel to Schengen. During the pandemic, they have the right to enter the region if they have a valid reason: to reunite with family, for urgent business, work, study or medical treatment.

Registration of a residence permit
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Citizens and residents of the European Union can return to the country at any time, subject to quarantine measures. For example, you have to stay in quarantine for a set number of days upon the arrival. In which European countries residence permits are issued by investment.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European and Caribbean citizenship and residency programmes by investment. If you want the freedom to move around the world even in a pandemic, seek advice from experts in investment programmes.

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