EU Travel Update: Recovery Certificate Now to Be Issued Based on Positive Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test

The European Commission has adopted new rules regarding the COVID-19 recovery certificates. Now, the process is to be easier and more convenient for travelers.

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Starting from 22 February 2022, the EU Member States can issue recovery certificates to the persons who will provide a positive rapid antigen coronavirus test report.

Earlier this month, the EU Council has also adopted new recommendations regarding the implementation of the traveler's individual-based approach. This approach makes EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate a major determinant to enter all EU countries. 

What has changed?

In practice, it means that a traveler who has been infected with the COVID-19 amid the Omicron wave will be now allowed to travel more freely. It is another step on the way to resume smooth tourism flow and relax further travel restrictions introduced amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Previously, the recovery certificates could be issued only if the individual was able to submit an RT-PCR positive test report. As rapid antigen tests have proven to be equally effective, the EU Commission relaxed the rules. 

The validity of COVID-19 recovery certificates continues to be 180 days (6 months) from the date of being first tested positive. 

Rapid antigen test requirements

The rapid antigen test submitted in order to obtain a recovery certificate must be included on the list of rapid antigen tests approved by the EU. 

Moreover, the test must be taken by trained personnel or healthcare professionals, which means that self-tests cannot be accepted to issue a recovery certificate.

It is to prevent potential manipulations and ensure that the tests performed are accurate. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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