These European Countries Are Issuing Digital COVID Certificates for Travel

by Natasha Gabrielle | Updated Aug. 12, 2021 - First published on June 9, 2021

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People walking across a bridge in Prague with the city and castle on the hill in the background.

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These European countries have already begun to issue and accept digital COVID certificates for travel within the European Union.

As more people get vaccinated, some countries are easing some of their restrictions and making entry exceptions for vaccinated travelers. If you're hoping to head to Europe for a vacation, that may soon be possible.

We recently discussed how Spain and France are opening to American tourists. Now some European countries have begun issuing digital COVID certificates to make it easier for people to travel throughout the European Union.

At the time of writing, the certificates are valid for people from EU countries. The current digital COVID certificates identify whether people are vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the virus, or whether they've tested negative within the last 72 hours. If they meet one of those criteria, they'll be able to travel throughout the EU freely.

These countries have issued digital COVID-19 certificates

The following nine countries have already begun to issue digital COVID certificates and are also accepting them for EU visitors:

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Spain

The European Commission is tracking updates as more countries begin issuing and accepting these certificates. All 27 EU countries will use this digital COVID certificate program by July 1, 2021.

What does this mean for American travelers?

These digital COVID certificates don't yet apply to American travelers. There is a plan to make it a goal for all visitors from outside of the EU to receive a certificate upon arrival. But those capabilities don't yet exist because not all countries are giving out secure vaccination documents.

The European Commission is working with the United States to figure out how to verify the vaccination status of American visitors. It has also asked EU countries to begin waiving testing and quarantine demands for travelers who are vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19 and to stop requiring quarantine for travelers who supply negative test results.

At this point, it's best to check with each European country you plan to visit to see what their entry requirements are and whether Americans can enter. That way, you'll know whether you'll need to provide a negative test result or other verification of your vaccination status. We'll have to wait and see when these digital COVID certificates might apply to American citizens.

Start planning for travel now

Travelers are eager to get out and explore again after spending much of 2020 at home. If you're thinking of taking a vacation within the next few weeks or months, it's a good idea to start planning as soon as possible. You'll find more availability when trying to secure travel dates and plans, and you can snag lower rates. As time goes on, travel costs will continue to rise because of the high demand.

A smart way to pay for your next vacation is by using a travel rewards credit card. Many of these credit cards have excellent travel perks that can make travel more enjoyable, like:

Plus, you'll earn points on the money that you're spending, which can later be redeemed for free travel.

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