International Travel During Covid: The Documents You Need

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Some destinations, including the United Kingdom and certain European Union countries, require travelers to complete a digital passenger locator form before entering the country (you must submit the U.K. form in the 48 hours before you arrive in the country), to help with contact tracing. In addition to your travel information, vaccination status and contact information, the form may ask for your address in the country, and, in the U.K, confirmation of scheduled coronavirus tests that you need to take after arrival. With its locator form, Croatia asks for proof of paid accommodation, and if you’re traveling to Canada, you will need to download and submit information using the ArriveCan mobile app within 72 hours before your arrival.

More countries now require proof of a negative test, often in addition to proof of vaccination. Depending on where you are going, some countries require P.C.R. tests, while others allow rapid antigen tests. The timing requirement of your test might ask for results between 24 or 72 hours before your arrival, or one to three days. Take Croatia again: The country requires a negative P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48; if you have neither, you’ll be required to test upon arrival at your own cost and quarantine until you receive negative results. Rules for unvaccinated children vary widely by country and age, too — when entering Denmark, fully vaccinated adults or children under 16 do not need proof of a negative test, while 16- and 17-year-olds must have proof of a negative test to enter. Again, have the results in both digital and physical form.

Mask mandates too vary by country and maybe localities, but you will most certainly need masks in airports, on your flight — and if you are going to most places in Europe and the U.K., for indoor activities like dining. And rather than hoping your cloth mask will have you covered, come prepared with surgical masks and N95s as well. For example, you need N95s,KN95s or FFP2 to ride public transport in Germany.

Not only is it a good idea to check your health-insurance policies if you get sick abroad, you should research whether proof of health or travel insurance is needed at your destination. While Egypt, Jordan and many Caribbean nations require proof of health insurance, travelers to Chile, in addition to proof of vaccination and a negative test, must also show “proof of travel medical insurance that covers at least $30,000.” For unvaccinated travelers, Costa Rica requires insurance that covers any Covid-related costs, including but not exclusive to illness.

If you are traveling with children, particularly as a single parent or if your child will be traveling with other relatives, Erika Richter, director of communications of the American Society of Travel Advisors, strongly recommends having a child consent form and a proof of relationship, like a birth certificate or court document, in addition to the child’s passport.



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