All You Need to Know About the COVID Pass Once Planning Your Trip to Europe - Important Update for US Travelers
Written by Czech Hospital Placements on Wednesday, June 2, 2021
COVID pass, CHP Program, Czech Hospital Placements, Digital Green Certificate, travel restrictions
The COVID pass, also known as the Digital Green Certificate in Europe, is an online vaccine or health passport that shall make your travels easier. Find out all the important information while your planning your CHP Program's placement in Europe.
What is the COVID pass, and why do I need it for my travels in Europe?
The COVID pass, also known as the Digital Green Certificate in Europe, is an online vaccine or health passport that shall make your travels easier. It is an electronic document that serves as digital proof of your vaccination or negative test results.
The vaccine passports are in use all around the globe. In NY, USA, it is called Excelsior Pass in Israel, the Green Pass.
As the vaccine rollout continues in many countries, the COVID passes should serve as an addition to your ID or passport. People who are fully vaccinated - 2 weeks after your second vaccination dose in a 2-dose series such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine - can resume activities as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the near future, you should be able to travel without the need for testing and quarantine, as the CDC and other authorities suggest, too.
How does the COVID pass look and work?
The Digital Green Certificate and other COVID passes are very similar to a mobile boarding pass. A smartphone app will ensure you have your pass always with you. Although we recommend having your confirmations or test results scanned as well.
If printed, the COVID pass is usually a one-page document with your personal data (name, date of birth, ID number) and dates and type of your vaccination or tests, including a QR code to be easily readable electronically. In case of the Digital Green Certificate, the QR code will be scanned to check its authenticity to verify it anywhere around the EU.
The EU gets together to unite the rules for the COVID Passes to make an EU-wide vaccine pass and travels around its member states easier for their citizens and tourists. That is why the EU also cooperates with the US and other states on global rules of traveling in the COVID-era travels.
Will this be an everyday reality while traveling in the COVID-Era?
Yes. The COVID passes serve as a way how to allow movement and mobility. The same applies to the need of monitoring the up-to-date information by travelers. You have an overview about the EU countries and their current measures in place here downloadable as a mobile app, too.
Will you need your COVID pass once traveling around Europe?
Yes. No personal data database will be created. The Digital Green Certificate will include only a limited set of information - name, DOB, date of issuance, relevant details on vaccine/test/recovery, and the unique ID of the certificate. The Digital Green Certificate is issued free of charge for:
- people who received a COVID-19 vaccine - vaccination certificate
- people who had a negative RT-PCR test result - test certificate
- people who recovered from COVID-19 - recovery certificate
The COVID pass aims to easily prove that you are vaccinated or have negative test results while traveling, using services, or doing any other activities previously restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which vaccines are authorised and recognized in Europe until now?
- BioNTech and Pfizer, on 21 December
- Moderna, on 6 January
- AstraZeneca, on 29 January
- Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, on 11 March
As a fully vaccinated person, I don't need to wear a mask, such as in the US?
No. especially while traveling, you should wear an FFP2 or FFP3 mask for your safety. Some countries request facial masks in the inner spaces, and thus it is necessary to check the current rules of the countries you are traveling through and to. The sum-up of the information is usually gathered at the airports' websites. But it is always good to pay attention to the information presented by your local embassy. We recommend having the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer always with you. Not to mention you should still monitor your health.
When I plan travel to the EU from another state outside of the EU...
Then you are called a traveller from a third country and the EU is reviewing the list of countries for which travel restrictions are lifted. Currently you can travel to the EU without issues from (updated on 18th June 2021 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs):
- New Zealand
- United States
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
- Hong Kong
- North Macedonia
The Czech Republic is among the 7 countries in the EU which have already started issuing the Digital Green Certificates.
When the US will be among those countries?
Starting from the 21st June 2021 you can travel to the Czech Republic while being fully vaccinated. We monitor the situation and will keep you up to date on the documentation needed to pass the travel checks without any issues.
UPDATES FOR TRAVELERS:
Please, check the current statlus of your country at the Traveller's Map prepared by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs available here in English.
- have your vaccination certificates/cards/passes scanned and always with you
- check the information provided by your local embassy and register as a citizen of the country traveling to a specific area to receive up to date information
- wear an FFP2 or FFP3 face masks - required in the planes of Czech airlines and while using any means of transport - at the airport and everywhere indoors
- respect the social distancing measures
- wash and disinfect your hands as often as possible, have a hand sanitizer gel in your pocket
- self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after travel, if any occur, isolate and get tested
- follow the local rules and check the current measures in place
- for travels in autumn/winter, consider a flu shot
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