EU Now Accepts COVID Passports from Third-Countries

EU Now Accepts COVID Passports from Third-Countries

Several countries have now opened for international travel for non-essential purposes however, with the threat of the different variants of coronavirus, countries are still cautiously welcoming travellers.

The European Union (EU) has advocated for the use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate to restore freedom of travel throughout member states and allow safe cross border travel. Although each member state has their own version of the “COVID Passport”, they are connected to one gateway which is universally recognised.

As of 19 August, the EU Commission announced that it has begun accepting COVID certificates issued by North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

The three countries are now connected to the EU system and their passes will be accepted under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate from 20 August 2021. Travellers from the bloc will also be accepted in North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine if they carry the EU certificate.

The digital pass states that citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have tested negative for the virus, or are recovering from infection.

The move by the European Commission to adopt the three equivalence decisions aims to facilitate safe travel between the EU and its neighbouring countries.

I am pleased to see that the list of countries implementing a system based on the EU Digital COVID Certificate is growing steadily and we are setting standards internationally.

This will help to facilitate safe travel, also beyond the borders of our Union.

EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders

Vaccine Hurdles

The announcement could however present hurdles related to COVID-19 vaccines that are not recognised by the EU.

So far the bloc has only approved four jabs for use, those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, but member states can choose to accept others.

Ukraine, Turkey, and North Macedonia have all also recognised China’s Sinovac jab, while the latter two also administer another Chinese one, from Sinopharm, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V.

The EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi stressed that the support of neighbouring countries was essential to progression during the coronavirus pandemic.

As we fight the pandemic together, our partners are also an integral part of opening up safely together.

I welcome Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Turkey in our Digital COVID Certificate system and look forward to more of our neighbours connecting soon.

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi

The EU already has an equivalence agreement with non-member state Switzerland.

France has recently created a new system that allows tourists visiting from outside the European Union to apply for a health pass, check out our blog post on how to convert your vaccine certificate to a French Health Pass.

Do you have access to EU Digital COVID Certificate? What are your thoughts on getting a universal system for the COVID passport? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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