Do U.S. Citizens Need the Covid-19 Vaccine to Travel to Europe?
U.S. citizens arriving in Europe and the Schengen Area must have a vaccination certificate. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) must approve the vaccine administered.
Which Vaccines are Approved for Entry into the Schengen Area?
These Covid-19 vaccine are approved by the EMA:
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen),
- Nuvaxoid, and
Some countries also accept the following vaccines that are recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), but not the EMA:
- Covishield, and
Can a U.S. Citizen Travel to Europe After Receiving the Vaccine?
In most cases, most European and EFTA countries area allowing fully vaccinated tourists to enter the Schengen Area. The government of each country may impose additional rules and restrictions that are subject to frequent change due to the pandemic. You should check your destination’s policies often to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
Travelers from high-risk countries may not be permitted to enter European countries, regardless of vaccination statues. Travelers with the necessary certificates may still face the following restrictions:
- Testing before departure,
- Testing upon arrival, and
Is it Possible to Travel to Europe while Unvaccinated?
Citizens of countries with low infection rates may be permitted to enter Europe without a vaccine. However, travelers should remain aware that each country has its own policies and rules. Therefore, you should frequently check the restrictions and regulations of your destination. Excluding rare exceptions, travelers will most likely need to be vaccinated.
Traveling with a Vaccine Passport
During the pandemic, traveling between Schengen member states may require a vaccine passport or equivalent documentation. These European entry requirements vary by country:
- Proof of vaccination,
- Proof of negative Covid test, and/or
- Proof of recent recovery from COVID-19.
These are all displayed on a the EUDCC.
A list of approved documents may be suitable replacement for a vaccine in some countries, but a vaccination certificate often prevents travelers from being quarantined.
What Countries are Requesting the Covid-19 Vaccine for Travel to Europe?
Each country can impose different restrictions. In France, for example, proof of recovery or a negative Covid-19 test result is required. Germany requires visitors to have both a vaccination certificate and a negative test result. These rules are subject to change, so check for changes to important information before leaving.
U.S. citizens planning to travel to Europe should:
- Frequently check European health requirements for travel,
- Consult the embassy of their destination country,
- Read the flight terms and conditions,
- Contact the airline about vaccination requirements 6-8 weeks before departure,
- Get vaccinated,
- Keep detailed records of their vaccination and/or Covid-19 testing, and
- Bring an English translation of the documentation, if needed.