As new variants of the coronavirus emerge, governments worldwide continually update their international travel regulations. The European Union has modified its EU Digital COVID Certificate, which specifies the criteria citizens, residents, and tourists need to meet to travel freely amongst member countries.

The following sections outline these changes and how they will affect your trip to Europe.

Here are the latest COVID-19 vaccination requirements for travelling within Europe.

‘Full Vaccination’ Is No Longer Enough

Since last year, citizens and residents of EU countries and tourists to the continent have used the EU Digital COVID Certificate to indicate that they’re fully vaccinated and free of the disease. This certificate allowed you to visit public areas such as bars, cinemas, clubs, parks, stadiums, and restaurants. The document also showed the holder’s most recent PCR test dates.

Full vaccination was defined as receiving the recommended number of doses for a particular coronavirus vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had one dose, while AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer required two jabs.

The EU Commission has since updated its definition of full vaccination regarding the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Starting February 2022, certificates become invalid nine months after the holder gets their last dose. The holder must receive a booster within nine months after getting their previous jab to keep the certificate valid.

Before the EU Commission issued this update, many individual countries had already enforced rules requiring visitors, residents, and citizens to receive booster shots to access public areas. This move aims to unite the continent.

Additional Rules by EU Countries

Some countries have imposed stricter vaccine requirements on their citizens and tourists. For instance, you can’t access certain places if you don’t have full vaccination plus the booster shot. In some nations, the period between the last jab and the booster shot is shorter than the EU Commission’s 270 days.

You have to be fully vaccinated to travel using public transport and access some hotels in France. A negative PCR test or recent recovery from the disease isn’t enough to access pubs, cinemas, and restaurants. However, you can go into essential areas like schools and hospitals.

Everybody above 16 must be vaccinated to enter the areas mentioned above. If you’re 18 or older, you must get a booster shot within seven months to access certain public areas.

On its part, Spain now requires tourists from non-EU countries to get booster shots before visiting. More specifically, visitors must have received the booster between two weeks and nine months before landing in the country.

If you want to visit Germany, you must have either reviewed your final dose or booster shot within 14 days before arriving in the country. You must present proof of vaccination and show zero symptoms of the disease. This law applies to every person above six years old.

What About England?

Although the UK is no longer part of the EU, it also has strict pandemic-related restrictions. You should be fully vaccinated plus the booster shot to enter England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

You should also complete a passenger locator form three days before departing to the UK. With this form and proof of vaccination, you won’t quarantine once you land in the country.

Wrapping Up

As seen above, it’ll be long until countries ease COVID regulations such that pre-pandemic normality is restored. With the virus mutating, it’s even likely that the conditions could become more stringent.

If you’re planning to tour Europe, it’s advisable to liaise with travel agents before booking your flight. This will ensure that you’re compliant with all requirements beforehand.