EU: New Vaccination Status Recommendation for Entry Requirements 

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points 

  • A traveler’s vaccination status is to be used for the basis of COVID-19 travel restrictions throughout the European Union 


The European Council adopted a new recommendation on a coordinated approach to safe movement throughout the European Union. Beginning 1 Feb. 2022, the EU Council will recommend member states apply COVID-19 restrictions based on a traveler’s vaccination status rather than the region from which they traveled, except for regions with very high-risk levels.  

The approach will mean that a traveler should possess a valid EU digital COVID-19 certificate, which indicates one of the following: 

  • A valid EU digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate; or  
  • A negative PCR test result obtained no more than 72 hours prior to travel, or a negative rapid antigen test obtained no more than 24 hours prior to travel; or  
  • A certificate of recovery indicating that no more than 180 days have passed since the date of the first positive test result.  

Travelers who do not possess an EU Digital Certificate may be required to undergo testing prior to or no later than 24 hours after arrival in the EU.  

What are the Changes? 

The European Council will update the recommended rules of travel across the EU beginning 1 Feb. 2022. This agreement will prioritize the use of the EU COVID-19 vaccination certificate when it comes to travel across the EU. Recommendations by the European Council are not legally binding and member states of the EU will have the option to implement the recommendation as seen fit.  

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the European Council’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.