European countries scrap COVID-19 travel health certificates

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world have introduced travel health certificates.

These documents were a way for nations to monitor and control the spread of the virus through international travel.

As countries try to recover from the pandemic and encourage tourism in a post-COVID-19 world, these health certificates are gradually being removed.

Although some European nations maintain certain travel restrictions for foreign arrivals, health certificates are no longer required.

British citizens can now travel to many European countries without entry restrictions.

Schengen countries including France, Germany and Spain have limited or no COVID-19 requirements.

All UK travelers must comply with standard visa guidelines which will soon include ETIAS visa waiver.

What is a travel health certificate for?

Travel health certificates have been used to support authorities during the pandemic. They allowed international travel to resume in a safe and managed manner by monitoring positive cases entering and exiting a country.

Prior to travel, international passengers had to fill out an online form with their personal information as well as all COVID-19 information.

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Data varied from country to country but generally included vaccination status and any negative test results.

Some health forms also required travelers to indicate if they had any COVID-19-related symptoms.

This allowed authorities to assess whether a passenger might be bringing the virus into the country.

In addition to pre-screening overseas visitors, the forms acted as a point of contact between local governments and individual arrivals.

If a passenger tested positive for COVID-19, the health forms contained the information needed to contact anyone who was in close contact with that passenger.

In this way, authorities could interrupt possible chains of infection.

Boosting tourism in Europe after COVID-19

Most European countries have gradually reopened to international travel over the past year.

Although COVID-19 cases are still high in a number of countries, governments are trying to manage the cases while allowing travel to resume.

Economies have suffered badly from the drastic decline in tourism, so promoting this sector across Europe is a top priority.

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While strict travel policies are in place, tourists travel to countries that require little or no additional documentation.

This is especially true for unvaccinated travelers, as many countries have mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19.

Nations are encouraging tourists by easing coronavirus restrictions, including removing travel health certificates from list of mandatory requirements.

Unrestricted travel in Europe

Most European countries have lifted all COVID-19 requirements for international travel. Currently, only Spain has restrictions on visitors wishing to enter the country.

Some nations lifted all rules earlier this year.

The UK was one of the first countries to do so back in March, along with Norway, Poland, Romania and a number of others. Gradually all other European countries followed.

British citizens can now travel anywhere in Europe (except Spain) without needing COVID-19 documents.

Spain’s COVID-19 regulations

Spain is currently the only European country maintaining COVID-19 restrictions on arrivals outside the EU. Travelers from the UK can visit Spain but must comply with relevant regulations and have the correct health documents.

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British passengers arriving in Spain must have one of the following documents: a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, a certificate of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test result.

The vaccination certificate must show that the person has been vaccinated at least 14 days and at most 270 days before or has received a booster vaccination.

Until recently, Spain also had a travel health certificate that was mandatory for certain passengers. This requirement was removed entirely on September 20th.

Other countries that removed all rules

Many nations outside of Europe have also eased COVID-19 restrictions on foreign visitors. British citizens can now travel to many countries without needing any coronavirus papers.

Mexico became the first country in the world to do away with all additional arrival rules, repealing them on January 1st.

Other countries without restrictions include: Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Malaysia, Oman and Vietnam.


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