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Travelling with a COVID-19 certificate? Things to remember
The rules for the COVID-19 certificate are defined by the EU. Many of the rules are complicated to understand.
“The most important thing people should do is to check if the country you are going to travel to requires a COVID-19 certificate. Many countries have waived the requirement for this,” says Eli Heen, Senior Medical Officer at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Unsure what to check and where to check it?
- Checklist for COVID-19 certificate at Helsenorge
Many different rules for validity
If the country requires a COVID-19 certificate, you can find your certificate on the COVID-19 certificate at Helsenorge, or even easier - download the Helsenorge app and open the COVID-19 certificate there.
“The most important thing to remember is that you have a valid COVID-19 certificate for an indefinite period of time if you are over 18 years old and have received a booster dose. If you have been vaccinated for the first time, your COVID-19 certificate is valid for 270 days. If you have had COVID-19, your COVID-19 certificate is valid from day 11 to day 180 after a positive test at the test centre. If you are under 18 years of age, you have a valid COVID-19 certificate for an indefinite period of time if you have been vaccinated for the first time. In Norway and most countries, both children and adults are counted as having basic vaccination either after two vaccine doses or after one dose in addition to a positive test result. You can also enter many countries after taking a test to document that you do not have COVID-19,” says Eli Heen.
- What gives a valid COVID-19 certificate? (helsenorge.no)
The COVID-19 certificate has two types of validity. One is about test and vaccination information. The second is about technical validity.
The information registered about testing and vaccination determines whether you receive a valid certificate, and for how long it is valid. In addition, there is a technical validity which means that the certificate is valid for a maximum of 90 days from the time the certificate is digitally opened, downloaded or printed. This is to prevent abuse.
“This means that people who want to print the COVID-19 certificate should not do this too long before they go out travelling,” explains Eli Heen.
Testing before travel
The NIPH is also asked a number of questions about where people can be tested.
“You can ask your municipality if they offer this testing or go to a private clinic that offers this. The possibilities for testing will differ depending on where in the country you live, and you should also check this well in advance if you need a test before travel,” says Eli Heen.
Especially important for those with children over 16 years
If there is a requirement for a COVID-19 certificate also for children under the age of 16 at your destination, you will find a COVID-19 certificate for your children on your COVID-19 certificate page at Helsenorge.
“For parents of teenagers, bear in mind that you lose access to the COVID-19 certificate for your children when they turn 16 years old. In that case, remember to ask your child to obtain an electronic ID well in advance of their departure, and that this requires a valid ID (passport or national ID card). Then they will be able to log on to Helsenorge and get access to their own COVID-19 certificate,” says Eli Heen.
Extra vaccine doses
The NIPH is also asked if it is advisable to be vaccinated with an extra dose of vaccine if someone does not have enough vaccine doses for a valid COVID-19 certificate.
“The rules may change towards the summer, but it is not advisable to wait longer than one month before travelling to have a vaccine dose,” says Eli Heen.