The European Union announced this Monday that, due to the explosion of Covid-19 cases, it reimposes restrictions to travelers arriving from Argentina and other countries.
Thus, each country of the block will be able to request a certificate with the complete vaccination schedule, with the drugs that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
This measure had already been implemented last year, but in October the EU had removed Argentina from the list of countries that had to present vaccination certificates.
Now, fears about the rapid spread of the virus due to the omicron variant, which is setting records for infections in several European countries, have led to the inclusion of the country again, along with others such as Canada and Australia.
Here are some questions and answers to keep an eye on when visiting one of the 27 countries that make up the European Union.
1- With the new restrictions imposed on Argentina, who can travel to Europe?
-On the recommendation of the European Council -which does not imply mandatory compliance by the countries that make up the European Union-, those who have the complete vaccination schedule, that is, two doses and the last one applied at least 14 days before traveling.
Passengers arriving at Fiumicino airport in Rome must present a vaccination certificate. Photo: EFE
2- Do all the vaccines that are applied in Argentina work?
-No. It has to be one of those approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO).
3- What are they?
Pfitzer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin, and Covovax. In addition, a PCR test with a negative result must be presented, carried out a maximum of 72 hours before arrival. Each European country can also apply its own measures when allowing the entry of travelers.
4- Can I travel if I have a full schedule of Sputnik?
-No, according to the European recommendation. The vaccine produced by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute has not yet been approved in Europe. But Spain, for example, admits “certificates with vaccines not authorized by these organisms, but the last dose administered must be one of the authorized vaccines”, they confirm in the Ministry of Health.
A coronavirus testing center at the airport in Munich, Germany, in late November. Photo: EFE
5- If I have a third dose of a vaccine approved by the EMA/WHO, is it considered valid?
-The booster (reinforcing dose), for now, is not part of what is currently considered a complete guideline. The European Council recommendation refers to the two doses of the initial vaccination plan.
6- Do I have to quarantine upon arrival?
-Each Member State of the European Union can establish self-isolation, quarantine, tracking and additional Covid tests that it deems appropriate.
7 -Does the vaccination certificate expire?
It depends on each country. In Spain, its validity is effective from 14 days after completing the vaccination schedule and up to one year from the date on which the second of the two doses was received (except in the case of the single-dose Janssen). Some airlines, such as Iberia, clarify, for those travelers from Argentina, that after 270 days of the last dose, they will be required to present the documentation that proves they have received the booster dose.