1st July 2021
As COVID-19 travel restrictions constantly change and with each country having different amber, green and red lists, it can be difficult to keep up with all the developments. And especially for global contractors looking to take up opportunities and settle in countries across the EU over the busy summer period, it is imperative to know the latest international travel rules. In our latest blog we summarise the recent news from specialist information portal, Schengen Visa Info.
Germany starts to open its borders
We start with Germany and the government’s decision to allow non-EU or third country nationals to enter its territory subject to the individual having received an approved European Medicines Agency (EMA) vaccine, which must be either Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen. A press release from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs stated that “14 days after receiving the last necessary vaccination dose, third country nationals may enter the country for any permissible purpose if the general legal requirements for residence are met”.
Individuals will need to supply a certificate that includes their full name and date of birth together with dates of vaccination and the number of jabs. Furthermore, the vaccine’s manufacturer needs to be included as does the name of the person and institution where the jab was administered. Bans on citizens from a number of countries, including India, Brazil, South Africa and the UK, remain in place given the ever-present risk posed by COVID variants.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country’s research institute responsible for disease control and prevention, has now published a guide with all the information required for German citizens to obtain their COVID vaccination passport. This can obtained from a pharmacy as long as proof of vaccination and an ID card are presented; doctors are also allowed to issue vaccination certificates. Unique QR codes, sent to individuals by email or available online, are to be printed out. To have a digital version, citizens need to download the CovPass app.
COVID travel update for contractors
Elsewhere, the Netherlands has lifted its ban for travellers from the US and five other countries – Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan – as of 24th June. The decision was taken based on an EU Council recommendation. The explanation given was that “If you live in a safe country, you may travel to the Netherlands. The EU travel ban does not apply to you. It does not matter what your nationality or the purpose of your trip is. Countries that are not on the list of safe countries are considered high risk areas”.
Visitors from the approved list of countries can travel freely to the Netherlands without any restrictions. Travellers from these low risk countries do not have to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccine certificate, neither do they have to self-isolate. Air passengers will, however, have to fill in a health declaration form, which can be completed online at check in. The UK, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar are among several countries that have been placed on the very high risk list since 15th June.
Following a recommendation from its National Institute of Public Health, Norway has moved some countries onto its yellow list. Arrivals from Poland, Romania and some hospital districts in Finland must register and be tested at the border but there is no quarantine requirement – as is the case for travellers from green list countries. Non-essential travel will be allowed for EEA/Schengen countries and the UK from 5th July, although those from outside the EU will have to wait until 10th August. Norway is also ready to connect to the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) gateway.
From 21st June, visitors from 47 countries no longer have to self-isolate when entering Slovakia. These states have been placed on the green list as they have low COVID-19 infection rates and a high number of vaccinations. Portugal and Malta, who were previously on the red list, are now included in the above. The only stipulation is that individuals provide a negative test result taken in the last 72 hours. Slovakia has also introduced a black list, in which case all those entering the country must quarantine for 14 days.
Contractors must stay aware of compliance requirements
Even though there are fewer travel restrictions, COVID tests and vaccinations are required in many locations for anyone travelling as EU public health authorities remain concerned about the spread of variants. For contractors travelling internationally, it is important to not only be aware of the changes in COVID travel restrictions, but also stay on top of all local legal and tax employment compliance requirements.
Need more information? Our 6CATS International specialists are here to advise you.