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What Is a Health Certificate? How its Being Used in Travel

health certificate

Health certificates are official documents that provide needed input on the health status of an individual.

For these documents to be official, they must be completed online in most cases.

Basic health information like height, weight, history of disease, etc., are included in the health certificate.

Health certificates are sometimes required before a visa for travel can be authorized or issued to the person under review. 

Now that you know some preliminary information on health certificates let's dive in and explore the additional health forms you may need to travel abroad.

What Are Health Certificates Used For?

The purpose of a health certificate in the context of travel is to ensure that the health of the person is well enough to fly and enter into another country.

Health certificates are needed to review a person's health status before a visa can be issued.

Health certificates are often required for pets to travel via flight. Health certificates are used for school documentation, insurance purposes, and other contexts where verification of one's health is necessary.

Are There New Health Requirements?

As you may have guessed, because of COVID-19, there are additional health requirements that passengers are expected to meet before they can travel to another country.

Countries around the world are adopting these measures to ensure safe travel and to reduce the spread of disease.

Contact your local embassy to find out which health documents are required in order to travel to your intended destination.

Or, visit our entry policy page for:

The Americas

What Health Documents Do I Need To Travel?

To travel abroad, you may need a health certificate for visa purposes and a fit-to-fly certificate. Fit-to-fly certificates affirm that the individual has tested negative for COVID-19 as of late. 

These certificates ensure that the person is physically well enough to visit another country and that their wellness is backed by a medical professional.

The certificate also promises that the individual has not shown signs of coronavirus before the departure.

Health certificates are growing requirements for many different countries because of the pandemic. Depending on where you plan to travel, these certificates may be requested before boarding, on arrival at checkpoints, etc.

How Much Does Obtaining a Health Certificate Cost?

Travel health certificates vary based on the requested testing and vital checks required by the country. Different forms of COVID-19 testing and vital checks can increase or decrease the overall cost. 

Additionally, some countries require that the traveler complete a medical screening to prove that they are in good health before traveling abroad is granted.

What Information Is Collected On Travel Health Certificates?

The information requested will vary upon location, but the basic information requested is as follows:

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Birthday
  • Gender
  • Passport information (number, nationality, expiration).

Additional information may include travel plans and contact information 

The traveler may also need to answer a series of medical questions pertaining to COVID-19 symptoms.

If you plan to travel to different countries in a short period of time, be sure to keep track of the places you've been over a two-week period.

Sometimes, health certificates require that you list the countries and dates of arrival and departure pertaining to your travels.

What Are Health Declaration Forms?

In response to COVID-19, the number of health forms that are being requested by countries has grown.

In addition to health certificates and fit-to-fly certificates, the traveler may need to sign a health declaration form in order to enter another country.

Health declaration forms are proclamations via the traveler’s signature that they are not experiencing coronavirus-related symptoms.

Do I Need The COVID-19 Vaccine To Travel Abroad? 

Depending on where you visit, the vaccine may be necessary. Along with vaccination, the individual must complete the vaccine certificate for COVID-19.

This certificate officially deems that the traveler has been vaccinated and has proof of negative test results as well as a signed health declaration.

Contact your local embassy to find out if your destination requires these additional health documents.

Who Issues Health Declaration Forms?

If you need a health certificate, you must first gather your COVID-19 test results from a government-approved laboratory.

You can obtain your form online at the government website pertaining to your destination.

Print out a copy to present to the authorities upon arrival.

The Bottom Line

The health documents you'll need for your trip will depend on where you plan to visit. If you're concerned about contracting diseases abroad, make sure to reach out to your health provider to see if any required services are covered.

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