More details emerge on COVID certificate for travel within the EU as talks continue

Will be be able to travel next summer, and under which conditions? As ministers of the different EU countries are negotiating in Brussels, more details are emerging on the so-called green certificate for COVID travel within the EU bloc of 27. 

Travelling within the EU should be possible and should not be any problem this summer, but you will need the so-called the 'Digital Green Certificate', a document that proves you either have developed antibodies against coronavirus, received at least one dose of a corona vaccine or tested negative in a recent PCR test. 

The negotiations concern (among other things)

  • The cost of such a PCR test: should it be free or not? The European Parliament (EP) wants it to be free, but member states object and say it is up to them to decide. At Brussels Airport, a PCR test on the spot will set you back 67 euros. 
  • Another issue is the vaccination status: will one jab do? The answer is yes, but you may have to wait two or three weeks after the jab. This is especially important for younger people, who are still waiting to get their first dose. The interval between two jabs can be 4 or 5 weeks or even more. 
  • Will you have to self-isolate after coming back from a 'red zone' even when you have been vaccinated? Member states still want the freedom to decide on this themselves, e.g; when new variants would emerge. 
  • The most (and easiest) checks will be on those taking a plane. But what about the holiday makers taking the car? EU ministers admit it will be impossible to stage massive road checks - and this is not the countries' intention - but random checks may be possible within the country of destination. The question is whether a negative PCR test which is 5 days old will still be sufficient at that moment. 

France to allow tourist travel from 9 June

Individual countries still have to re-embrace tourists first. France has announced that it will open its borders on 9 June. 

Spain has confirmed that it will be ready in June to accept COVID travel certificates. For the moment, most of the European map is still coloured red, except for large parts of the north (Norway, Finland) and Portugal, which is already receiving scores of British tourists. Some Greek islands had coloured orange in recent days, but turned red again. 

Travel outside Europe will depend on individual countries, but a vaccination passport is bound to play a role there as well. 

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