EU Digital COVID Certificate: Traveling to Europe Made Easy

Last updated: 20 September 2023


With success, the European Union has worked on restoring the freedom of travel, which has been limited due to the pandemic. By July 1st, the EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate allows EU citizens, residents and travelers from other countries to travel to and throughout Europe again.

Here’s what you need to know when you are planning to travel to and throughout Europe for leisure and international business.


What is an EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate?


The EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate is a one-piece document that can be issued to an EU citizen, resident or traveler in both a paper and digital format to travel to and throughout Europe again.

Numerous names have been given to the European COVID-19 Travel Passport/Certificate already. Here are a couple of them.

  • European COVID-19 Travel Passport/Certificate
  • EU Digital COVID Certificate
  • Digital Green Certificate
  • EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate


There are three types of the EU's COVID-19 Passport, depending on the status of the citizen, resident or traveler:


Vaccination passport


The EU COVID Vaccination Passport will be issued to those who have been fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus, with one of the four vaccines approved by the European Medicine Agency (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca).


Test certificate


All travelers who test for COVID-19 with PCR or Rapid Antigen test, and result negative, can obtain an EU COVID certificate.


Recovery certificate


Travelers who have recently been infected with COVID-19 and recovered from it should also be permitted to travel with an EU COVID travel certificate.


By offering these three types of EU COVID travel certificates, the EU does not discriminate against those who are not vaccinated when travelling across Europe. Everyone who is not vaccinated can still have the possibility to travel freely in Europe thanks to the test certificate and recovery certificate.


What Is the Purpose of the EU's COVID-19 Passport/Certificate?


The purpose of the European COVID-19 Travel Passport/Certificate is to restore the freedom of travel, which has been put to a halt for over a year now. The certificate removes travel restrictions such as entry bans, quarantine obligations and testing for those who hold the document. In other words, those who hold an EU COVID Certificate will be able to travel throughout Europe without the need to quarantine or test for COVID-19.

Digital Green Certificate Europe


Are All EU Member States Accepting the EU COVID-19 Passport?


The EU Member States are not legally obliged to implement the certificate. However, it is promising to see that all EU Member States are already in the process of introducing it. Member States are still able to impose restrictions on arrivals from other EU countries, but if they do, they must inform the EU Commission and all rest of the Member States and provide reasons why such measures are being taken. A reason for Member States to impose a restriction on a particular country is when a Member State has a higher COVID-19 rate.


How Does the EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate Work? 


Travelers will have to show the certificate to the border guards, either in paper format or digitally on their (smart)phones or tablets. Every certificate will contain a unique QR code to securely verify the authenticity, integrity and validity of the certificate. The certificates will be issued in two languages, in English and the official language(s) of the issuing country.


How to Obtain an EU Vaccine Passport? 


Every EU citizen can obtain the certificate in the country where they receive the vaccine. The certificates will be issued by qualified bodies in each EU and Schengen country. These bodies could be hospitals, test centers, health authorities, etc.

Non-EU citizens who may be eligible to apply to obtain the certificate should apply for such a document through their destination Member State.

EU digital covid certificate


Is the EU COVID-19 Passport/Certificate Also Available for North American Travelers? 


As the Member States reopens the borders for travel from non-EU countries for non-essential purposes, the EU also intends to issue EU digital COVID travel certificates to travelers from non-EU countries intending to enter the EU. The United States has been added to the list of countries to lift travel restrictions.

The Commission also intends to accept certificates issued from non-EU countries, which are issued under the same conditions as the ones by the EU.


Are Canadians Allowed to Travel to the EU as Well With the Certificate?


Unfortunately, Canada is not (yet) on the list of countries for which the EU Member States will gradually lift travel restrictions. EU Member States are currently individually accepting or declining non-essential travel from Canada. France, for example, allows Canadians already.


What Does the EU COVID-19 Passport/Certificate Mean to EuroDev?


At EuroDev, we're extremely excited about being able to travel and do business throughout Europe again. (Business) travel is an important part of our DNA as it is an important element of our added value to clients.

The EU digital COVID passport/certificate will make it possible to visit European tradeshows, distributors and end-users throughout Europe on behalf of our United States and Canada clients. Also, the passport allows our North American clients to visit us again to meet project teams in real life.

Read why European tradeshows are important to our clients.


More information


In case you would like to have more information on working from home in Europe or European HR Outsourcing in general, do not hesitate to connect with Monique Ramondt-Sanders – VP of Human Resource Outsourcing at EuroDev.


Source: Schengen Visa InfoEuropean Commission

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