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Greece and Israel Agree on Covid-19 Vaccine Passport for Travel

Greece and Israel have reached an agreement on a ‘green passport’ that will allow Israeli citizens vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19) to visit Greece without restrictions such as quarantine.

The announcement was made on Monday during a joint press conference in Jerusalem by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We’ve just discussed a green passport arrangement where Israelis, when we lift the restraints on flights, would be able to go to Greece without any limitations. No self-isolation. Nothing,” the Israeli PM said.

“And I think this is good news for all of us. Our cooperation is good for our countries. It’s good for the entire region,” Netanyahu added.

On his part, the Greek PM congratulated Netanyahu on the speed with which Israel is vaccinating its population.

“This will allow us, when a significant percentage of the population has been vaccinated and your travel limitations have been lifted, to offer Israeli tourists the opportunity to pass their holidays in Greece without additional restrictions,” Mitsotakis said, highlighting the need to facilitate travelers who have a vaccination certificate.

Vaccine passport deal will be a ‘trial run’

The Greek PM was the first leader to propose to the European Commission the idea of an EU-wide vaccination certificate to facilitate travel. While EU leaders appear to have reservations on the so-called vaccine passport, member states have agreed on guidelines for the establishment of an EU-wide accepted vaccination certificate to be used for “medical purposes”.

“I am also in favor of accepting digital vaccination certificates from third countries and this is exactly the project we are working on with Israel,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the agreement with Israel will be a “trial run” of what Greece can do with other third countries.

“I expect that there will be a great demand for travel once we deal with the coronavirus. Citizens are tired, they want to travel, they did not travel much last year,” he said.

Greece, Israel sign tourism agreement

Moreover, the Greek PM expressed satisfaction on the deal signed between the tourism ministers of both countries, adding that he hopes to welcome Israeli tourists to Greece very soon.

The tourism agreement, signed on Monday between Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and his Israeli counterpart Orit Farkash-Hacohen, sees both the countries cooperating closer in the field of tourism.

The agreement, which is initially valid for five years, includes institutional cooperation between the two countries, the exchange of information and know-how on tourism investments, tourism innovation and digitization and the exchange of experience in tourism education and vocational training.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Maggie Ferguson Reply

    Once again, this is good forward planning and I am hoping that the vaccine card we receive from hospitals and health centres in Ireland and the UK will be acceptable as proof.

  2. Gina Elizabeth DeShera Reply

    I hope there can be a similar agreement with other countries aside from Israel so we can start traveling safely again.

  3. Mastifarian Reply

    Good News but one can only hope that the manners of the Israeli tourists will have improved.
    One has observed on many occasions when in Greece that their behaviour, especially when in large groups, has been reprehensible – very rude and aggressive towards Greek taverna & shop owners/staff.

    • Paul Reply

      There are rude people of all nationalities.I have travelled extensively and find very kind and very rude people everywhere, including Greeks.
      Israel is nowhere near the top of the list of difficult tourists.

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