Europe’s first COVID passport will be up and running by July | Condé Nast Traveller IndiaMay 31, 2021
As Europe prepares to welcome tourists this summer, the Greek government has unveiled the EU’s first COVID passport. After a successful test run, the passport is expected to be in use by 1 July and will be a “fast lane to facilitate travel”, according to the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
How does Europe’s COVID passport work?
Hospitals, test centres and health authorities will issue digital or paper certificates providing proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test, and the history of a traveller who has had the virus. The document will have a QR code that can be stored on a device to be scanned by border guards.
Will this apply only to EU countries?
Although the government has yet to provide details, the EU system has plans to tie up with other countries, such as the US and UK. If the UK government does not launch a passport, fully vaccinated British citizens will be issued with the EU’s certification in their destination country on providing the appropriate paperwork from home.
Greece is currently allowing tourists from the UK to visit. Travellers can enter with the proof of a negative RT-PCR test undertaken within 72 hours and proof of two vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel. The visitor will not be expected to quarantine.
Does the passport eliminate the need for quarantine?
Yes. Every EU citizen or third-country national legally staying or residing in the countries that fall in the region and holds the certificate should be exempted from free movement restrictions, according to reports.
If an EU country continues to require those with a certificate to quarantine or test, it must notify the European Commission and all 26 member states to justify this decision.