EU to Introduce New Individual-Based Travel Restrictions From February 1

Starting from February 1, the European Union Member States are advised to remove the current restrictions, which are based on the COVID-19 situation on the traveller’s country of departure and replace them with restrictions based on the traveller’s situation.

This means that a traveller’s COVID-19 vaccination, test or recovery status, as evidenced by a valid EU digital COVID certificate, should be the key determinant.

The recommendation becomes effective next Tuesday, on February 1, on the same day when the Member States shorten the validity of vaccination certificates to 270 days at most, while some of the members are set to make them even shorter.

According to this decision, all restrictions to free movement should be lifted for travellers holding an EU digital COVID certificate that proves the same has been vaccinated with at least two COVID-19 vaccines in the last 270 days, a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 issued in the last 180 days, or a negative result of a test taken in the last 72 hours if it is PCR or the last 24 hours if it is a rapid antigen test.

Those who do not hold an EU Digital COVID certificate will have to test for COVID-19 24 hours before or after arrival. Exempt are children under the age of 12, as well as those with an essential function or need, and cross-border commuters.

The move reconfirms that the possession of a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate should be sufficient when travelling during the pandemic.