Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is calling for the introduction of an EU-wide vaccination certificate that will facilitate safe travel.
The Greek prime minister tabled the idea in a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen first published in US-based Politico.
The Greek premier said the aim of the certificate was to “facilitate free movement of people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19”.
The document, Mitsotakis said, should cover all EU member states and all forms of transport.
He added, however, that though Greece would not be making vaccination compulsory or a prerequisite for travel, “persons who have been vaccinated should be free to travel”.
According to Naftemporiki, Commission spokesperson on public health and food safety Stefan de Keersmaecker confirmed that Mitsotakis’ proposal would be on the agenda of a January 21 teleconference of EU leaders.
Mitsotakis said it was vital that the EU achieve a “common understanding” of how a vaccination certificate should be structured so that it is acceptable to all member states.
Indicative of the mixed approaches in the EU on the issue, Denmark’s health ministry recently announced that it is working on a “vaccine passport” for Danish travelers, which would soon be available, DR News reported.
“Ensuring the fastest possible restoration of free movement is, unescapably, a fundamental priority for all of us,” he said, adding that a vaccination certificate would “serve as an incentive to ensure that citizens are vaccinated”.
It would also help re-establish global travel, “which is the foundation of restoring economic activity to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
“For countries such as Greece, which are dependent on tourism, it’s imperative that this issue is resolved before the summer season,” he concluded.