Understanding Europes Travel Regulations

Over the past few weeks, we have seen some exciting announcements from Europe about travel regulations for international travelers.  Greece was the first European nation to announce that it would allow international travelers to visit if they can show proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.  This past week Italy announced that it would be opening immediately to international travelers who also can show evidence of immunization. 

The announcement by Italy and Greece marks a huge milestone for international travelers who want to frequent Europe.  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Europe was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many European countries adopted travel bans for international travelers.  To facilitate travel through Europe, many countries adopted a system to inform travelers about COVID-19.  The system is called The Traffic Light Approach, but it has caused some confusion since launching a Digital Green Certificate.  These two travel guidelines are very important and need to be understood before making travel plans to Europe. 

Understanding Europe’s Traffic Light Approach to Travel 

As noted by the Department of Foreign Affairs on October 13, 2020, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19.  This ‘traffic lights’ policy provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorized as green, orange, red, or grey, based on the risk levels associated with COVID-19. On 28 January 2021, a new dark red category was introduced on the weekly published map for areas where the COVID-19 virus circulates at very high levels, including more infectious variants. 

To find out how each country is performing based on the traffic lights system, check out the Reopen Europe website.  The site reports an overview of the health situation in European countries, based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The information is updated frequently and available in 24 languages. It enables you to follow the evolution of the coronavirus situation in your country and beyond.  Re-open EU also provides information on the various restrictions in place, including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers and mobile coronavirus contact tracing and warning apps. Following the traffic light system should help you plan your travel in Europe while staying safe and healthy. 

What is the Digital Green Certificate 

The European Commission announced on March 17, 2021, presented a proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Digital Green Certificate will be accepted in all EU Member States. It will help to ensure that restrictions currently in place can be lifted in a coordinated manner.  When traveling, every EU citizen or third-country national legally staying or residing in the EU, who holds a Digital Green Certificate, should be exempted from free movement restrictions in the same way as citizens from the visited Member State.  Please note the Digital Green Certificate is only for EU citizens of member nations.  If you are going to travel to Europe and you are not a citizen of EU member nations, you can’t use the Digital Green Certificate and will need to show proof of immunization from COVID-19. 

Protect Your Investment with Travel Insurance 

Vacations to Europe tend to be on the expensive side.  As revealed by the Money We Have website, a typical European vacation can cost over $4,000 for two travelers.  Be sure to protect your investment and buy a travel insurance policy from Trawick International.  We provide customized travel plans that offer industry-leading benefits. 

Founded in 1998, Trawick International is a full-service travel insurance provider specializing in protecting travelers of all types worldwide. We offer various travel insurance plans designed specifically by types of coverage, including comprehensive travel protection insurance, international travel medical insurance, visitor’s insurance, and international student insurance. Our company's mission is to deliver superior travel and medical insurance products that offer the best 24/7 emergency assistance services available. Contact us at 888-301-9289 or info@trawickinternational.com.