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Green pass: Which countries in Europe are asking tourists for them right now?

Visitors show their COVID-19 certificates before entering the Ancient Colosseum in central Rome
Visitors show their COVID-19 certificates before entering the Ancient Colosseum in central Rome   -   Copyright  Andreas SOLARO / AFP
By Shannon McDonagh  & Tim Gallagher

Some countries in Europe still require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter bars, restaurants and other public spaces.

Each country has a slightly different plan for how the passes work. So make sure you are informed of the rules before travelling to any of these countries.

Here’s a guide to what a hospitality vaccine pass could mean for your next trip.

What is a hospitality green pass and why is it needed?

A green pass, first used in Israel, is a paper document or app that proves the holder has been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID. It grants them access to indoor restaurants, bars, cafes and other indoor venues.

They are not needed for outdoor hospitality and gatherings since outdoor transmission of COVID has proven to be low, provided social distancing is observed.

Is a green pass different from the European Covid Digital Certificate (EUDCC)?

In some cases, no. The EUDCC currently operates as a travel pass across EU member nations, verifying a person’s vaccination status in order to facilitate trips across the continent.

Some countries are using their own apps or paper documentation created before the existence of the EUDCC. Other countries are happy to use the EUDCC as the vaccination data is already present and available, streamlining the process.

Why have there been protests against Green Passes?

AFP
Protesters walk past a restaurant as they take part in a demonstration in Milan against the introduction of mandatory green passAFP

Not everyone has welcomed the introduction of green passes with open arms. Some citizens believe they are an infringement on civil liberties and will allow bars and restaurants to “discriminate” against those that don’t wish to receive the vaccine.

Business owners are also conscious these measures are being enforced with little time for them to vaccinate themselves and their staff members.

"I am not fully vaccinated myself, my sister and a few other staff are not fully vaccinated, so we just cannot take the chance," Irish publican Kevin Kavanagh told the BBC upon hearing the news of the Republic’s plans to implement a green pass with just a few days' notice.

Which countries are using a green pass and how can you get one?

The current guidance is that visitors should go through the same process as residents or citizens to obtain their green pass. We will update this article if different rules are announced.

Austria

Entry to eateries, theatres, hotels, sports facilities and places for personal grooming requires proof of vaccination, a negative test, or certificate of recovery from COVID-19.

More information can be found here.

Belgium

Tourists and Belgian residents attending outdoor events of 1,500 people or more can apply for a COVID Safe Ticket which will exempt them from mask-wearing or social distancing.

To be eligible for the ticket you need to have been fully vaccinated for two weeks, have proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months, have a negative PCR test (valid on the day of the test and for two days after) or a negative antigen test (valid on the day of the test and for one day after that).

The COVID Safe Ticket was extended to indoor events of 1,500 people or more from September 1.

Cyprus

Anyone visiting indoor restaurants, bars and other venues in Cyprus must have a Coronapass, also known as a Safe Pass, documenting proof of vaccination for over three weeks or a negative test. This is an app that differs from the EUDCC and is used separately.

More information can be found here.

Denmark

Denmark requires a “Coronapas” for all indoor dining and cultural venues that holds the same requirements as the EUDCC. Coronapas is available in paper form or downloadable via an app and was the first developed outside of the EUDCC.

More information can be found here.

France

President Emmanuel Macron ordered by decree that visitors to all indoor hospitality venues with a capacity larger than 50 are now required to show a green pass.

As of August 9, people living in France have also needed a green pass to attend events with a capacity of over 1000 people. They are issued to those fully vaccinated from COVID-19 or those that have recovered from it in the past six months. People with negative PCR and antigen tests less than 48 hours old are also able to access the green pass.

More information can be found here.

Germany

Most people entering indoor hospitality spaces in Germany must now be vaccinated, recovered, or tested negative against COVID-19 and show proof of this through the EUDCC.

Children under the age of 6 and those regularly tested as part of their schooling are exempt from this.

German policymakers state that green passes are mandatory in areas with over 35 COVID cases per 100,000 people. In Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, this policy applies regardless.

This comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff conceded earlier this month that it'll be much easier in the future for vaccinated people to "have more freedoms" when attending large scale events like concerts and sports matches.

More information can be found here.

Greece

The Greek Covid Pass app is designed to check customers' "safe" status and verifies whether an individual has been vaccinated, recovered from COVID or has recent negative PCR or antigen test results. The Covid Pass app is required to enter restaurants, cafes and bars.

The Greek government has a separate scheme - the Freedom Pass - designed to encourage 18 - 25 years olds to get vaccinated.

Hungary

More information about Hungary's rules for international and internal travel can be found here.

Israel

Israel was the first country to introduce the 'green pass' initiative as early as February 2021. In June, authorities decided to scrap the model.

However, last week Israel took steps to extend its COVID-19 restrictions following a spike thought to be a result of the Delta variant. This involves the return of the green pass, which applies to most events and leisure activities.

People will have to show proof they are vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or tested negative for the virus in the past 72 hours, in order to enter most public spaces.

Italy

A COVID-19 green pass is required for all public, indoor venues in Italy. It provides proof that the holder has either received at least one dose of the vaccine, has recovered from the virus or tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

It acts as an extension of the EUDCC and permits people above the age of 12 to attend hospitality venues and large gatherings such as museums, private parties, and sporting events.

The pass is issued to people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, those who have recently recovered from the disease, and people who can present a negative test taken less than 48 hours before the event they are attending.

More information can be found here.

Latvia

More information about Latvia's rules for international and internal travel can be found here.

Luxembourg

Customers with a digital vaccination certificate or the app CovidCheck are permitted to use indoor hospitality until 1am without restrictions. Those without must wear facemasks and practice social distancing.

Attendees to all public social and cultural events must also present CovidCheck or EUDCC verification in either electronic or paper form.

More information can be found here.

Netherlands

No formal legal implementation of a COVID-19 green hospitality pass but businesses that check for proof of vaccination are the only ones allowed to be open at full capacity.

More information can be found here.

Portugal

It is mandatory to present a EUDCC certificate or negative test when entering tourist accommodation (upon check-in), spas, group gym classes, casinos, and cultural events with over 500 people indoors or 1000 people outdoors.

Restaurants require proof of a COVID vaccination or a negative test on Friday evenings after 7pm and on weekends and public holidays. This does not apply to children under 12.

More information can be found here.

Republic of Ireland

Pubs, cafes, and restaurants can only serve people with EUDCC passes indoors. This can be presented in digital or paper form. Alternatively, customers that can show proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 6 months are also welcome.

More information can be found here.

Slovenia

Indoor hospitality is open to over-18s who are vaccinated or can offer proof of a negative COVID-19 test. This includes: tourism and catering establishments, cultural and sports events, casinos and trade fairs, and public gatherings of over 100 people.

More information can be found here.

Spain

Although Spain as a whole has not introduced a green pass requirement, the region of Galicia and the Canary Islands have. People living here will have to prove they are vaccinated, have recovered or have a recent negative test via a COVID Digital Certificate.

Neither governments have confirmed what tourists are expected to show to be granted access into indoor bars, café's, and restaurants.

Face coverings are still encouraged in enclosed indoor and outdoor spaces.

More information can be found here.

Have you got your green pass for a country you are travelling to? What was the process like? Share your experience with us on Instagram.