|👍 Conversions no longer needed!|
|Great news! From 25 November 2021, Singapore vaccination certificates will be granted equivalency with the EUDCC, so there is no longer any need to convert. Your Notarise certificate will be accepted in any EU country, as well as 24 participating non-EU countries and territories|
If you’re planning to travel to Europe anytime soon, you’ll find that life is a lot easier for those who have an EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC).
Many VTL countries in Europe now require an EUDCC to visit restaurants or attractions, attend events, or basically participate in day-to-day life. Some even require an EUDCC to avoid quarantine on arrival, as we saw with Denmark’s new restrictions on travellers from Singapore.
|🇩🇰 tl;dr: Denmark Quarantine Requirement|
Denmark requires travellers from Singapore to self-isolate for 10 days immediately after entry. It is possible to end the isolation after four days by producing a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
This requirement applies regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not. Exemptions apply for Danish citizens, business travelers, transit (<24 hours stay), children below 16, and individuals holding the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) or Danish Coronapas.
There was initially some uncertainty as to whether a Singapore resident holding an EUDCC would qualify for the exemption, but based on what the Embassy of Denmark is saying, I’m leaning towards yes.
While Singapore is in the midst of applying to join the EUDCC system (non-EU countries like Israel and Panama are already included), travellers planning year-end holidays to Europe may need to find an interim solution.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can get your Singapore vaccination certificate converted into the EUDCC format. All EUDCCs are interoperable, meaning that once you have one, you can use it across all EU countries and non-EU countries which have joined the EUDCC system.
Converting while in Singapore
Switzerland requires a vaccine passport for all individuals 16 or older to access “red zones”, defined as large-scale events, indoor events (concerts, sports, cinemas), nightclubs, indoor areas of bars and restaurants, attractions and museums. While not required by law, businesses are free to require vaccine passports for “orange zones” too, such as outside seating areas at restaurants, open air events and workplaces.
Visitors can use Switzerland’s online portal to convert non-EU vaccination certificates into a Swiss EUDCC for a 30 CHF (~S$44) fee. This can be done in advance of your travel to Switzerland.
While you will need to upload proof of a hotel or flight booking, I understand a common tactic is to make a refundable booking, get the EUDCC, then cancel the itinerary subsequently. In that sense, this would be a workaround to get an EUDCC for travel to a country which doesn’t have a conversion mechanism.
Do note that Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccinations will not be recognised for conversions for those without a Swiss residence permit. Only vaccines on the EMA list will qualify.
Converting while overseas
France requires everyone aged 12 years 2 months and above to present a Pass Sanitaire (Health Pass) to access most public spaces, such as casinos, restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, museums and sports stadiums.
It was previously possible for visitors from outside the EU to convert their vaccination certificates into a Health Pass for free via an online portal. However, that functionality has now been removed, and visitors are instead instructed to visit a pharmacy upon arrival in France to make the conversion, at a cost of €30 (~S$46)
Do note that Sinovac and Sinopharm are not recognised in France, unless you take a Moderna or Pfizer booster dose after completing the entire Sinovac or Sinopharm course.
Germany operates a system known as the “3G rule”– geimpft (vaccinated), genesen (recovered) and getestet (tested). This means that individuals will need to show proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test to enter places such as airports, casinos, concerts, gyms, swimming pools, nightclubs, restaurants, attractions and museums.
Some states have adopted a stricter 2G rule which only allows access to those fully vaccinated or recovered.
In practice, Singapore vaccination certificates are widely accepted in Germany. On both my VTL trips to Munich and Frankfurt (and smaller towns outside), I encountered no issues at all using the physical certificate generated from Notarise.
However, if the plan is to travel outside of Germany, you can visit a pharmacy (called an apotheke) and get your Singapore certificate converted into an EUDCC. Look for those advertising “digitaler imfpass” services, which means “digital vaccination pass”.
There is no hard and fast rule concerning the conversion. Some will do it for free, others will charge a nominal fee, still others will refuse to do it. I visited the Lowen Apotheke located in Marienplatz, Munich, and got my certificate converted for free.
Germany does not recognise Sinovac or Sinopharm, so you won’t be able to get a Germany EUDCC if you’re vaccinated with either of these.
Italy adopts a Certificazione Verde (Green Pass) system which is necessary for entering all public venues, as well as boarding flights or trains/buses connecting different regions.
The Italian Tourism Bureau says that Singapore residents can present their local vaccination certificate for entry into Italy (remember, you’ll still need to do a pre-departure PCR/ART in Singapore within 72 hours of entry into Italy, even if you’re vaccinated).
However, it’s less clear whether the Singapore vaccination certificate will be accepted for entry to restaurants/attractions etc.. Anecdotally, I’ve read some reports that restaurants and cafes have no issues accepting Singapore vaccination certificates.
If you face issues with acceptance, you can visit or contact a local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale or ASL) to get your overseas vaccination certificate converted into an EUDCC equivalent, at no charge.
For example, this health authority in Veneto (where Venice is located) explicitly states that you can obtain a Green Pass by submitting the following:
For more information on the conversion process, refer to this article (paywalled, but if you select and copy fast enough you can paste it into Word and read at your leisure).
Italy does not recognise Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccinations.
Countries not offering conversions
Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Denmark will be reintroducing its Corona passport requirement from 12 November 2021.
This will be required for entering indoor restaurants, nightlife venues, as well as indoor events with >200 people or outdoor events with >2,000 people. These events include concerts, sports events with paid entrance, cultural events, museums, amusement parks etc.
While Danish citizens vaccinated abroad can register their vaccination online (after completing a serology test), there is no avenue for tourists to do the same. However, based on the Danish government’s advice, vaccine certificates issued overseas can be used in day-to-day life.
If your documentation for corona passport is from abroad, you are in principle able to use the documentation in Denmark provided it meets the rules for obtaining a Danish corona passport and that it is written in a language that the person inspecting your corona passport understands. You are generally advised to bring an English or Danish translation of your corona passport. Your foreign corona passport can be documented both electronically and by physical documents.
Keep in mind that travellers from Singapore must still present an EUDCC on arrival in Denmark if they are to avoid quarantine on arrival.
A COVID passport may be required to visit restaurants, gyms,and attractions in Finland.
Finland has granted municipalities the right to issue EUDCCs for those who have been vaccinated outside the EU. However, it’s explicitly stated that certificates will not be issued to tourists or “others who are visiting Finland for a very short time”.
The Netherlands requires a COVID Certificate with a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery to dine at restaurants or attend events /activities.
Singaporeans who do not have an EUDCC will have to undergo testing instead:
If your country is not linked to the EU DCC, your international QR-code cannot be scanned at venues. You will have to take a free rapid (antigen) test in the Netherlands. You can book a free test appointment online. The negative test result is only valid for 24 hours, so you may have to get a test several times during your stay.
The Netherlands does not have a mechanism for recognising vaccinations done outside the EU, except for Dutch citizens, residents, and those vaccinated in Aruba, Curacao or Sint Maarten.
According to this website, Singapore vaccination certificates are accepted by the Netherlands. However, it’s unclear whether this is referring to acceptance for entry into the country, or for use in day to day life.
Sweden does not currently have a COVID passport system, nor is it offering vaccination certificates to those vaccinated outside the EU.
Spain does not use a COVID passport system on a national level (though some regions are attempting to unilaterally introduce one).
Those vaccinated overseas can get their certificate converted into an EUDCC, but it is unclear whether this concession only extends to those with Spanish residency.
However, from 15 November 2021, Wales will require the NHS Covid Pass to gain entry to venues like cinemas and concert halls. This pass is already required for nightclubs and large events. Scotland requires the NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and large events.
There is currently no mechanism for those vaccinated abroad to get an NHS Covid Pass.
Displaying your EUDCC
Once you receive your EUDCC, you can display and show it through the following apps:
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Singapore gets added to the list of EUDCC equivalents, but travellers with year-end plans may need a temporary solution.
The simplest way for someone in Singapore to obtain an EUDCC is to apply for one via the Switzerland portal. Alternatively, those visiting Germany or France should plan a quick visit to a pharmacy to get their certificate converted.
For what it’s worth, I know from firsthand experience that the Singapore vaccination certificate is widely accepted in Germany, and have heard anecdotal reports that visitors to Italy and the Netherlands have not had issues either.