E.U.’s Relaxed Travel Recommendations Go Into Effect

The Council of the European Union’s recommendation that member states remove their current travel restrictions—which are based on the COVID-19 situation on the traveler’s country of departure—and replace them with restrictions based on the individual traveler’s situation, go into effect today, February 1.

Rather than determine an individual’s ability to travel to and throughout the bloc based on their departure country, the E.U. says countries should instead only consider the individual traveler (with few exceptions where COVID transmission is “very high”). “This means that a traveler’s COVID-19 vaccination, test or recovery status, as evidenced by a valid E.U. Digital COVID Certificate, should be the key determinant,” the Council said in a statement last week announcing the new recommendations. A person-based approach will substantially simplify the applicable rules and will provide additional clarity and predictability to travelers.”

In addition, new rules regarding the E.U. Digital COVID Certificate go into effect today: They now have a validity of nine months (or 270 days) once 14 days have passed after the completion of the primary vaccination cycle. Meaning, should nine months have passed since your last vaccine dose, you will be required to get a booster shot in order to maintain your COVID certificate.

Following the recommendations, Denmark is now open to all travelers without quarantine who can validate they have been vaccinated within 270 days, have received a booster dose or were recently infected and recovered (positive PCR test more than 11 days but less than 180 days ago).

Starting February 2, travelers to the Netherlands will not have to quarantine if they are full vaccinated and have received a booster at least seven days prior to travel. Travelers coming from outside the E.U./Schengen Area must also show a negative test result, even if they have proof of vaccination.

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