In this article, we give an overview of where Europe’s golden visa countries stand on the vaccination passport question, and how soon they will let in those vaccinated.
As the European Commission prepares to introduce digital vaccination passports and several EU countries say they will be ready to accept vaccinated tourists, travel-starved tourists from around the world are itching to plan their next getaway trip.
To that end, they’ll need the answer to two questions:
- Which countries will accept vaccinated tourists?
- When will they open travel for vaccinated tourists?
While we still don’t know precisely what form vaccination passports/certificates will take, it is clear that the document will allow travelers to move around Europe without having to undergo additional coronavirus tests or quarantines. Real-time travel regulations for each European country are provided here.
Iceland was one of the first European countries to start issuing vaccination passports. Other European states – such as Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, and the Czech Republic – are also moving in this direction. In this article, we’ll focus only on Europe’s golden visa destinations.
Where Europe’s Golden Visa Countries Stand on the Vaccination Passport Question:
At the moment, EU residents, along with travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, and the UAE are allowed to enter Greece. Nevertheless, everyone must quarantine for seven days upon arrival and provide a negative PCR-test.
Greece’s Tourism Minister, Harry Theocharis, said that Greece intends to open its borders this summer to all travelers who are vaccinated, have antibodies, or can provide a negative PCR-test. Greece will begin accepting vaccine passports from mid-May, which will allow visitors to avoid quarantining upon arrival.
Thanks to what appears to have been effective public health measures, Portugal soon will be one of the safest European destinations to welcome both vaccinated visitors and those who have a negative covid-19 test.
Right now, travel to Portugal is limited only to EU nationals and their family members, official residents of Portugal or another EU country, or third-country nationals traveling for “essential purposes”. However, from May 17th, Portugal plans to allow vaccinated passengers.
Spain still plans to introduce vaccine passports and allow restriction-free travel for vaccinated passengers from May 19th. Visitors who can provide a negative Covid-19 also are welcome. The country’s Tourism Minister, however, recently said that, most likely, the date will be postponed to June: “We need the maximum certainty to have a season without taking risks” he said.
Currently, travelers from most European countries, alongside Australia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, and Uruguay are allowed to enter Spain. Visitors from other countries are not permitted to enter unless they gain special permission from the Spanish government. All travelers need to complete a Health Control Form.
Recently, the Cyprus Transport Minister, Yiannis Karousos, announced that hotels will “soon” reopen and all inbound travelers who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 will be exempt from quarantine and testing. From May 1st, Cyprus will start accepting fully vaccinated tourists. Other visitors will still be able to enter the country but will have to follow strict entry rules.
For now, only EU citizens, Cyprus residents, or those who have special permissions to visit are allowed to enter Cyprus. The test before departure and a test on arrival and 10 days of quarantine remain preconditions for entry.
Malta has announced it will begin recognizing vaccine passports from June 1st and that, after that date, anyone who has had a full vaccine (both doses if a two-shot vaccine) will be able to enter the country restriction-free. According to the Malta Tourism Authority, passengers will need to show their vaccination cards before boarding flights.
At the moment, only passengers from certain countries are allowed to enter Malta, providing a negative Covid-19 Test. Passengers without the certificate will be asked to swab at Malta International Airport or may be asked to self-quarantine (See the full list of requirements here).
The vaccine passports planned for most European countries are a small but effective step towards reversing the pandemic’s economic devastation and getting back to the world we had before February 2020.
Information provided in this Article relevant up to date of 7 April 2021.
An entrepreneur with a passion for expanding access to business in the UK, Evgeny established Manns Solutions in 2015 after successful careers in the accounting and banking sectors. He has a strong passion for the finance and fintech industries.