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Check out the vaccine travel guidelines for Indians to gain entry into 16 European countries

16 European countries are now allowing travellers who got Covishield jabs. Here's a look at the additional Covid-specific requirements of each of these countries.

July 19, 2021 / 11:20 AM IST

Now 16 countries in Europe have recognised Covishield as a valid proof of immunity for travel and included it in the Green Pass. The Green Pass scheme is the European Union’s (EU) digital Covid certificate programme that has been created to restore freedom of travel and remove entry barriers placed due to the pandemic. However, the entry guidelines for all 16 countries are not the same.

Since Covid-related guidelines are subject to change at short notice, for latest information, check the official website of your country of destination before booking/flying.

Austria

You are considered ‘vaccinated’ from the 22nd day after your first dose, lasting for 90 days from the vaccination date. After the second dose, the validity extends for another 270 days.

Vaccines that only require one dose are valid from the 22nd day after that dose and for 270 days from the vaccination date. This also applies to people who have had Covid before and received only one dose of any vaccine.

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The following vaccines (including mix-and-match vaccines) are recognised: BioNtech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Sinopharm. This only applies to entering the country. Sinopharm is not valid for entering hotels, restaurants, etc., within Austria.

Belgium

People would be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ only after 14 days of receiving both doses of vaccines that require two doses, or a single shot of vaccines that require one dose. Fully vaccinated people don’t have to quarantine after being exposed to a high-risk contact if they immediately test negative.

Currently, the Belgian government imposes at least seven days of quarantine for people who have had high-risk contact with an infected person. If they test negative on the seventh day, they leave quarantine. However, if they do not get tested, a 10-day quarantine requirement is mandatory for them.

Bulgaria

All passengers travelling to Bulgaria should present either of these proofs:

  • Vaccination certificate for a completed vaccination course against Covid-19. The certificate is considered valid 14 days after receiving the final dose. The document should include the full name of the vaccinated person as per their identification document, their date of birth, the dates when the vaccine doses were administered, the vaccine name and batch number, the name of the producer, the details of the vaccine certificate issuing authority and the country; or

  • A negative result from a PCR test performed within 72 hours of entry into the country or a negative antigen test performed within 48 hours of entry into the country; or

  • A positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to Covid-19 for persons who had the coronavirus infection not more than six months before the date they enter the country.


Finland

From July 12, Finland has opened its borders for travellers who are fully vaccinated, have recovered from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, those aged 15 years or younger, coming from the EU and Schengen Area countries.

Travellers who have received only the first shot of a vaccine that needs two shots will require a Covid-19 test, taken at least 72 hours after arriving in the country, whereas those who haven’t received any vaccine must undergo a test before departure or after arrival in Finland.

Following this move, Finnair, the Finnish airline, no longer requires the EU Covid-19 Vaccination Passports before boarding flights to the country.

France

  • According to a French government circular dated July 17, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer subject to travel restrictions to and from France, whatever the country of departure.

  • Restrictions have been almost entirely lifted in mainland France. However, barrier measures are still applicable.


Germany

  • All travellers from Covid-19 risk areas or high-incidence areas such as India, must register on www.einreiseanmeldung.de before entering Germany.

  • Any person entering Germany by plane, regardless of whether they have spent time in a risk or high-incidence area, must provide the airline with a negative test result, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. The test result is to be kept for at least 10 days after entry and must be presented to the authorities upon request.

  • Proof of a negative test result, recovery or vaccination also applies to passengers who are only transiting through a German airport. The test is to be taken not earlier than 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (antigen) prior to the scheduled arrival time in Germany. Children below six years are exempted.



Greece

  • Proof of a negative test is not required for travellers who have completed their vaccination (i.e., 14 days have elapsed since the final vaccination shot) and hold a vaccination certificate.

  • Proof of a negative PCR test is not required if the traveller tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 30 to 180 days.

  • Travellers are required to have either a negative PCR certificate taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival or a negative antigen (rapid) certificate taken less than 48 hours before arrival. This test is mandatory for all tourists (including children over the age of 12), regardless of the epidemiological situation in the country of departure.

  • Acceptable vaccines are: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm, among others.


Hungary

Except in the case of entry by civil aircraft, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without epidemiological restrictions.

Entry is allowed for

  • Those vaccinated against Covid on at least one occasion and one year has not elapsed since the first vaccination,

  • With a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), or

  • With a vaccine validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use, or

  • With a vaccine allowed in Hungary, or

  • Immune after recovering from Covid, or

  • Based a molecular biological test which is not older than 72 hours.


Iceland

To qualify to be exempt from travel restrictions, testing and quarantine requirements, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Be fully vaccinated with a WHO/EMA approved vaccine. Fully vaccinated people (and those who have previously been infected) are exempt from border testing and quarantine requirements. The vaccine exemption takes effect 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (only one dose required for Johnson&Johnson/Janssen).

  • Iceland accepts all valid vaccine certificates, including the EU Digital Covid Certificate, documentation from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, and all other authentic vaccination certificates.


Ireland

New travel measures have come into effect on July 19, 2021. All passengers are legally obligated to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form in advance of arrival. From July 12, 2021, paper versions are no longer accepted.

You will have to fill out a portion of the form if you are travelling on to Northern Ireland.

Before departure, check whether Emergency Brake applies to country of departure.

An emergency brake system will be applied, sometimes at short notice, to countries where a variant of concern or interest arises. This will be coordinated at the EU level to protect against the importation of variants.

Latvia

  • All persons travelling to Latvia must fill out an electronic form on the Covidpass.lv website not earlier than 48 hours before entering Latvia.

  • Travellers must present an EU Covid Certificate, or a document issued in EU Member States, European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom certifying vaccination or recovery, or a negative Covid-19 test result issued in any country. Passengers unable to produce a valid certificate will be denied boarding.

  • Exempt from any tests are children under 12 years of age. If they are travelling with adults who are exempt from the self-isolation requirement, children under 12 also don't need to observe self-isolation (until September 1, 2021, this includes other minors).

  • Exempt from any tests are airline passengers who are travelling in transit without leaving the controlled transit area of the airport for up to 24 hours.


The Netherlands

  • Fully vaccinated non-EU/Schengen Area travellers entering the Netherlands from a high-risk country will no longer be subject to the entry ban unless they are travelling from a very high-risk area.

  • EU and non-EU travellers entering the Netherlands from a Covid-19 low-risk country will no longer be required to present a negative test result or stay self-isolated upon their arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. Nonetheless, they are still obliged to fill in a health declaration form if travelling through air transport.

  • Proof of recovery from the virus is not recognised.


Slovenia

A person may enter Slovenia without being required to quarantine at home if they present:

  • A negative PCR test for Covid-19 that is not older than 72 hours - time measured from the time the swab was taken for testing, or

  • A negative RAT (antigen) test result not older than 48 hours from the time the swab was taken, or

  • A certificate of recovery – a certificate of positive PCR test result that is older than 10 days and not older than six months, or

  • Medical certificate of recovery from Covid-19, if not more than six months have elapsed since the beginning of symptoms, or

  • Certificate of vaccination against Covid-19. For Covishield vaccinated travellers, it is mandatory that at least 21 days have passed since the first dose of the vaccine.


Spain

  • Arrivals from India are subject to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Spain.

  • All persons arriving from Covid-19 safe countries that have a reciprocal agreement with Spain but are non-EU Member States are also permitted to enter Spain.

  • All travellers entering Spain must fill in a Health Control Form, which can be completed and signed in electronic form. After completing the form, a QR code will be generated, which then should be shown to the health authorities upon arrival in Spain.


Sweden

  • Anyone who has been vaccinated with a dose at least three weeks before arriving in Sweden and those who have had Covid-19 in the last six months do not need to get tested on arrival.

  • This also applies to people who have presented a negative test for entry into Sweden and children six years of age. This recommendation is valid from July 12 to August 31.

  • Travellers who, seven days before arriving in Sweden, have visited or entered from a so-called third country outside the EU that is not on the EU list of exempted third countries will have to get tested and self-isolate.


Switzerland

  • Persons who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease will be permitted to enter Switzerland without the need for a negative test or quarantine.

  • Those who have neither been vaccinated nor have recovered must present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test and go into quarantine on entry.
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.

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