Are more nations or Airlines planning to make Health Certificates mandatory for international travels? Here is how to obtain health declaration forms and certificates for destinations that have made these documents mandatory travel requirements
Fit-to-fly certificates, health declaration forms, and COVID vaccine passports are among the varying COVID-19 requirements that arriving passengers must now meet to gain entry to a destination when travelling abroad.
A large number of governments and authorities worldwide have introduced these measures in order to facilitate travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and contain the spread of the disease. It is important to know the difference between these documents, and how to obtain them online in advance of departure for your destination.
What Are Travel Health Documents?
Travel health documents for coronavirus, also known as fit-to-fly medical certificates, certify that the holder has recently tested negative for COVID-19. They confirm that a traveller has been deemed healthy enough to visit an international destination by a medical professional, and has not displayed any symptoms of coronavirus prior to departure.
Travel health certificates have become a mandatory requirement to visit a number of countries across the world during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They have been introduced with the aim of preventing the further spread of COVID-19 across international borders.
They may be requested by an airline before the traveller is permitted to board a flight, as well as by immigration authorities on arrival at a border checkpoint of the destination.
COVID-19 travel health certificates should not be confused with certificates of good health for pets, also known as a veterinary certificate or a zoo sanitary certificate. These act as proof of inoculation for pets when transporting animals between different countries.
Travel Health Declaration Forms by Country
Travel Health declaration forms for most countries can be accessed online.
Travel Health Certificate Requirements
The requirements for countries that require a COVID-19 test certificate will vary depending on your travel destination. However, in order for a fit-to-fly certificate to be issued, it is necessary to have proof of a negative test result for coronavirus as a mandatory requirement.
Nevertheless, the type of test requested varies. In some cases, a rapid antigen or antibody test will be accepted. In others, it will be necessary to have taken an RT-PCR COVID-19 test. This testing method is used to identify an active infection by locating 3 different genes in the virus. It takes longer to process than a rapid antigen test.
In many cases where a PCR test is required, the traveller is required to have been tested no later than 72 hours prior to departure from their country of residence. However, this varies depending on their destination. Therefore, it is important to check the specific requirements for the country you wish to visit in advance.
Some fit-to-fly certificates also require the traveller to undergo a medical screening by a health professional and provide evidence of this. This may involve vital checks such as having a doctor listen to the patient’s lungs to check for infection
The cost of obtaining a travel health certificate depends on the type of COVID-19 test requested. It also varies depending on whether other services such as vital checks are required.
Information Required for a COVID Health Certificate Application
The information travellers need to provide before a fit-to-fly health certificate can be issued varies depending on the destination. However, the mandatory data that needs to be supplied typically includes:
Date of birth
Passport expiry date
Date of arrival
Port of embarkation
Port of entry
Address of stay in the destination country
Date of departure
Home address in country of permanent residence
Mobile phone number
Phone number of an emergency contact
Medical Questions regarding COVID-19 Symptoms
Shortness of breath?
Diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days?
Close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
Additionally, it may be necessary to list all of the countries you have been in within the previous 14 days, alongside the dates of arrival and departure.
Health Declaration Form, Certificate or Passport: What Is the Difference?
Governments around the world are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in different ways and implementing varying measures and restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Many authorities require foreign visitors to present both a travel health certificate and a completed health declaration form to enter their territory.
The difference between these documents is that the certificate contains proof of a negative COVID-19 test certified by a medical professional. A declaration form, on the other hand, is a proclamation signed by the traveller that they are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms.
An additional measure that is being adopted by a number of countries is the vaccine certificate for COVID-19. This document certifies that the holder has already been vaccinated against coronavirus and may be accepted in lieu of the 2 documents outlined above. However, in some cases, both a certification of vaccination and a health declaration will be requested.
Several airline companies and governments have now launched a digital COVID passport. This allows travellers to easily store negative COVID-19 test results as well as proof of vaccination against coronavirus. These make it easier to collect and store this information to present to the relevant authorities. One example is the COVID vaccine passport launched by China.
Additionally, electronic COVID passes are being developed by a number of other countries and are due to be implemented in the coming months. These include the digital European vaccine certificate for EU countries.
Who Can Issue a Travel Health Declaration Form?
A standardized form has not yet been developed to act as a travel health declaration, and each country that imposes this requirement has its own individualized document. These can usually be obtained online, printed, and completed to present upon arrival in the destination.
Travellers who need a travel health certificate for their destination are first required to obtain a COVID-19 test result from a laboratory approved by the government of their destination. Then, in many cases, they can apply for the fit-to-fly certificate online.
More on this can be found at onlinevisa.com