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Traveling between countries with COVID

Hi,

I have a trip planned to go to Portugal, Spain, and France. I knew I needed a negative COVID test 72 hours before my flight out of the US. But I feel like I also need one before entering into each of the different countries… I was wondering if anyone can confirm that for me and offer some insight and advice about handling that.

Posted by
10986 posts

Due to the increase in Covid cases, and the new variant, information is changing daily. You will need to monitor this as you travel.

Also be aware that if you are over 65, France will require proof of a booster shot to get the pass sanitaire. If you can get the EU travel passport in either Portugal or Spain, it should suffice.

One of our France based posters should be able to verify or correct my posting.

Posted by
27482 posts

with how extremely transmissible the new - so far unnamed - variant is, the more testing you can do the better. If I were travelling I'd be testing daily

EDIT: now named Omicron

Posted by
28 posts

I was going to post a similar question here. I'm wanting to go back to Europe next May/June. We are and will be fully vaccinated, and we were originally planning to visit France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, but I'm starting to think it might be safer, because of the possibility of ever-changing COVID rules, to visit only one country. I'm not sure exactly how the EU Covid passport works, but any country can theoretically pose additional testing restrictions, right? Or does the EU passport guarantee freedom to move about throughout the EU?
I understand that nobody can predict the future, but I'm wondering if someone who's paid close attention to the various rules over the past year or so, might offer some guidance. If there's even a chance that we might have to test/quarantine from country to country, I'd rather not take that chance. Thank you!

Posted by
170 posts

I'm not sure exactly how the EU Covid passport works, but any country
can theoretically pose additional testing restrictions, right?

Ok, so firstly, there is no "EU Covid passport". Each country issues its own digital certificate, and they are interoperable between the countries. But, each country sets its own rules for who can get the certificate and for how it precisely works.

Beyond that, about this question: Although the point of the digital Covid certificate is to enable freedom of movement within the EU for certificate holders, yes, each country can absolutely set additional restrictions. Here is the official language from the EU about that:

"Member States shall refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health. In such a case, the Member State must inform the Commission and all other Member States in a timely manner and provide reasons for such new measures." (Source)

The words 'necessary and proportionate' are doing a lot of work here. Furthermore, and important to understand, countries can also set testing restrictions for accessing spaces inside of the country, regardless of holding the pass (i.e., in some parts of Germany right now, one needs both a proof of vaccination or recovery AND a test result to do certain activities).

Or does the EU passport guarantee freedom to move about throughout the
EU?

Absolutely not. It is designed to facilitate freedom of movement, but in no way guarantees it.

If there's even a chance that we might have to test/quarantine from
country to country, I'd rather not take that chance.

Of course, it is impossible to say what May/June will look like, but if even a chance of this is a deal-breaker for you, then you may need to wait a bit longer than the first half of next year, before it is comfortable for you to travel within Europe.

Posted by
1117 posts

In your other thread you wrote that you will be traveling Jan 9-23. That is, unfortunately, too close to promise the pandemic will be over by then, and too far away to tell you anything reliable about what rules will be in effect then.

As Frank II said, with the new variant, things are changing daily. You will need to monitor this as you travel... and let me add, before you even start on your trip. They are now canceling flights from regions that have the new variant, so who knows what will be in January. I don't want to sound like a doom prophet, but I am getting a bit pessimistic. With people all gathering and meeting family and friends at Christmas, from last year's experience we might even see another surge caused by that, with the usual two weeks' delay.

If there's even a chance that we might have to test/quarantine from
country to country, I'd rather not take that chance.

Azra has given you a good answer. I am afraid that at this point in time, you shouldn't believe anyone who tells you that this chance does not exist.

but any country can theoretically pose additional testing
restrictions, right? Or does the EU passport guarantee freedom to move
about throughout the EU?

The EU passport does not even guarantee freedom to move freely within your own town should the government decide another lockdown is necessary, as has just been the case in Austria.