Greece and Italy have reintroduced a COVID test requirement for all arriving passengers, including those who are vaccinated against corona.
Starting today (16th December), all passengers travelling to Italy must show a negative COVID test result, including passengers who are fully vaccinated.
Both antigen tests (taken within 24 hours before departure) as well as PCR tests (maximum 48 hours old) are accepted.
Although passengers with an EU Digital COVID certificate or another accepted proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from corona do not have to quarantine on arrival in Italy and are free to go wherever they want, those who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine for five days.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the measure will be in effect until 31st January 2022.
Another country which has reintroduced a COVID test requirement before entering the country is Greece.
All arriving visitors will require a negative PCR test which cannot be older than 48 hours before arrival. The measure will go into effect on 19th December.
Other European countries
Portugal already reintroduced a COVID test requirement on 1st December, a measure which will be in place until at least 9th January 2022.
All passengers flying to Portugal, regardless of nationality, point of origin and vaccination status, have to submit a negative COVID test result. This can be a PCR test which must have been performed at least 72 hours before arrival or a rapid antigen test of up to 48 hours before arrival.
Since 4th December, Switzerland requires all travellers to have a negative PCR test result of not more than 72 hours old before arrival. Another test is required between day 4 and 7 after entry, although this test can also be a rapid antigen test.
Are these COVID test requirements to stay?
To streamline corona entry requirements and to ease travel, the European Union introduced the EU Digital COVID certificate earlier this year.
Several EU officials have recently voiced their displeasure at countries unilaterally reintroducing new corona travel requirements, which undermines the whole idea behind the EU Digital COVID certificate.
Věra Jourová, the European Commissioner for Values and Transparency, said that “these member states’ individual decisions reduce people’s trust in the same rules across Europe”.
Although it is of course impossible to predict the future, it is likely that COVID travel requirements will again be streamlined in early 2022, allowing vaccinated persons to travel freely within the EU without having to take PCR tests.
EU booster plan
The European Commission has proposed a new plan which stipulates that EU member states “should not refuse a vaccination certificate that has been issued less than 9 months since the administration of the last dose of the primary vaccination”.
In practice, it means that within the EU there should be no additional requirements for those who have completed their COVID vaccination within the last 9 months (two jabs of the Pfizer, Moderna or Astra Zeneca vaccine, or the single-shot Johnson vaccine).
People who were vaccinated longer than 9 months ago would therefore need to take a booster shot to keep their EU Digital COVID certificate (green pass) in order to travel without any additional testing requirements.
The same would count for people who have a EU Digitial COVID certificate based on proof of recovery from the corona virus as also this would lapse after 9 months, requiring them to take the vaccine if they want to keep their green pass.
Never miss out on news and flight deals
If you want to stay up to date on the latest travel news, make sure to regularly check the Paliparan website. We also recommend you to regularly check the flight deals section on Paliparan.com to ensure that you will not miss out on great travel deals or special sales.