Questions and answers on COVID-19: Travelling
1. What travel restrictions are in place in the European Union?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries applied a range of measures for incoming travellers from inside and outside the EU in an effort to slow down the global spread of SARS-CoV-2. These have varied from requiring proof of a negative diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 (either PCR or rapid antigen test) to not allowing the entry of non-citizens or non-residents for non-essential travel. These measures are currently being relaxed.
Individuals who intend to travel to or within the EU should check the European Commission’s Re-open EU web platform, which contains real-time information on border measures, as well as available means of transport and tourism services in the Member States.
2. What is the EU Digital Covid Certificate?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) is digital proof that a person has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, has recovered from COVID-19 or has proof of a negative test for SARS-CoV-2. Each of these categories of the DCC has a different duration of validity.
National authorities are responsible for issuing this certificate, which should be free of charge, include a QR code and be valid in all EU countries.
Several non-EU countries have also adopted the EU DCC.
3. What precautions should I take if I need to travel?
Standard prevention measures to control the spread of COVID-19 are also recommended during travel. These recommendations include:
- do not travel if exhibiting symptoms compatible with COVID-19
- practice physical distancing (a distance of one to two metres from others)
- follow respiratory etiquette (coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow) and good hand hygiene (washing hands with soap and water regularly or using alcohol-based hand sanitisers)
- use a face mask (preferably a medical face mask or FFP2 respirator) in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Travellers who develop any symptoms compatible with COVID-19 during or after travel should self-isolate and seek medical advice and testing for SARS-CoV-2 to exclude a diagnosis of COVID-19.
EU/EEA countries may have additional requirements for travellers. If you intend to travel to or within the EU, check the European Commission’s Re-open EU web platform, which contains real-time information on border measures in the Member States.
4. What is the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when travelling?
There may be a risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 while travelling, so standard prevention measures should be followed (see ‘3. What precautions should I take if I need to travel?’).
ECDC, in collaboration with other relevant EU agencies, has developed joint guidance for the aviation, cruise ship and railway sectors for use during the pandemic, including advice on non-pharmaceutical interventions while travelling, the cleaning and disinfection of premises and managing a COVID-19 case on board.
For more information, see:
5. What travel-related measures are countries using?
Some countries are using travel-related measures for travellers arriving from around the world for the detection of COVID-19. These may include:
- requiring travellers to fill in a health declaration form that asks about possible symptoms or exposure to COVID-19
- requiring travellers to have a negative RT-PCR test or rapid antigen test before arriving at the destination or upon arrival
- requiring a quarantine period for incoming travellers (with or without testing for release)
- conducting temperature screening upon arrival (with a thermometer or other device)
- requiring the EU Digital COVID Certificate for incoming travellers (see ‘2. What is the EU Digital COVID Certificate?’).
- requiring travellers to submit a passenger locator form, particularly in a digital format, which allows local public health authorities to reach involved travellers if contact tracing is necessary.
If you intend to travel to or within the EU, check the European Commission’s Re-open EU web platform, which contains real-time information on border measures, as well as on available means of transport and tourism services in the Member States.