Aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. From August-end, travellers aged 12 - 17 will also be required to show a Health Pass in order to access public attractions and hospitality venues in France.
Many countries are slowly lifting their travel restrictions. Case in point: Switzerland and Austria have removed India from their respective virus variant area list.
(Virus variants are variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that are deemed to be of concern. An example of this is the Delta variant in the UK.)
Additionally, fully vaccinated travellers from India can now show their vaccine certificates to access over a third of Europe.
However, all vaccines are not the same when it comes to travel permissions. Here's a look at the travel requirements of 13 countries, including which vaccines they accept:
1. Romania: Romania became the 18th European country to recognise Covishield as valid proof of immunity of incoming travellers.
Romania is part of the European Union but not part of the Schengen area.
Fully vaccinated travellers can now enter Romania 10 days after their second vaccine shot and do not need to quarantine.
Romania recognises these vaccines: Comirnaty – Pfizer; Moderna; Vaxzevria – AstraZeneca; Janssen – Johnson & Johnson; Covishield (AstraZeneca – Serum Institute of India).
Right now, India is on Romania’s red list. Travellers from India will have to present a negative test upon arrival and undergo a 14-day quarantine.
2. Austria: India has been dropped from Austria’s ‘virus variant area’ list. From August 18, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to undergo quarantine on arrival.
New vaccination requirements to enter Austria are:
- Vaccinated travellers will need to show proof of both completed doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Sinopharm, or Sinovac; or
- One Johnson & Johnson dose + 21 days, or
- Proof of past infection + one vaccination dose.
- Travellers are considered fully vaccinated in Austria even if they have taken vaccine doses from different companies.
3. Slovenia: Starting August 23, any traveller intending to use Slovenia as a transit country will have to present a vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the virus, or a negative Covid-19 test result.
According to the latest announcement by the Ministry of the Interior of Slovenia
, travellers who have been vaccinated, or have recovered from the infection, or tested negative against the virus will be exempt from the 10-day quarantine requirement provided that they do not stay in its territory for more than 12 hours.
4. France: International travellers who want to access public attractions and hospitality venues in France will have to present proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test result. These venues include cafes, restaurants, and bars, hospitals, shopping centres that are than 20,000m², trains and planes, museums, theatres, cinemas, ports events, amusement parks, zoos, libraries, communal spaces in hotels, including swimming pools, events held at worship places, weddings held in public areas.
According to the latest French government circular, non-EU tourists who have tested negative or have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can now obtain a French Health Pass. Currently, children under the age of 12 are exempt from the health pass requirements. However, from the end of August, children between 12 and 17 will also be required to show a Health Pass in order to access public attractions and hospitality venues.
To apply for a Health Pass, you must provide the following documents:
- A vaccination certificate that has been issued in line with the rules of the applicant’s residency country; the certificate must indicate full vaccination with an European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved vaccine. Note that the system is open to only those vaccinated in a country or territory other than EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, England, or Wales.
- A valid passport
- Return airline ticket
Since August 4, India is not on the ‘virus variant area’ list of Switzerland. As such, entry restrictions have been relaxed.
***6. Iceland: Non-essential is not allowed
for Indians. Even for essential travel, unvaccinated travellers must present a test upon arrival, undergo a five-day quarantine and get tested for the virus on the last day of self-isolation.
The Croatian Institute of Public Health has announced that passengers arriving from South Africa, Brazil, India, Zanzibar (Tanzania) will have to present a negative PCR test taken up to 48 hours before entering the country and undergo a 14-day self-isolation requirement.
India is on Estonia’s red list. Non-essential travel is not allowed
. On arrival, passengers will have to self-isolate for 10 days and undergo double-testing.
The Swedish government has categorised India as a ‘virus variant zone’ and has advised its citizens against travelling to India. Indians arriving in Sweden must get tested up to 24 hours before departure and self-isolate for seven days. The traveller will have get tested again and isolation might be terminated if the person tests negative on the fifth day.
India is on Ireland’s designated state list which means travellers will have to present a pre-travel PCR or antigen test and undergo a 14-day quarantine.
A pre-departure Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (antigen test) is mandatory for travel to Latvia. A 14-day self-isolation time is required unless the person is fully vaccinated or tests negative for the virus on the seventh day of the quarantine.
Armenia is open to Indian travellers - unvaccinated visitors from India can enter with a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the previous 72 hours; or a certification of complete vaccination against Covid-19 with the second dose taken at least 14 days before entering the country. There are no restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers.
The Polish government still does not recognise Covishield as valid proof of immunity. According to a press release, the country only recognises the vaccines that have been approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), AstraZeneca EU (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), Moderna (Spikevax).