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Greek PM Explains Concept of Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate for Travel

Photo source: primeminister.gr

Photo source: primeminister.gr

“People will want to travel, especially during the summer, and it doesn’t make much sense to me not to facilitate travel,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Bloomberg on Monday.

Speaking during an exclusive interview, the Greek PM gave details on the system his government aims to establish to facilitate incoming travel to Greece this summer; a system that sees hassle-free travel for those holding vaccination certificates.

“I was the first European leader to raise the issue of a common European vaccine certificate, which will serve the purpose of simplifying travel, once a significant percentage of people have been vaccinated,” PM Mitsotakis said.

Essentially, according to the Greek PM, a vaccine certificate will allow a traveler to enter Greece without being forced to provide a negative test and without any quarantine restrictions.

“And we do intend to go down that path,” he said, reminding that he has already agreed in principle with his Israeli counterpart to accept their vaccine certificate to facilitate travel from Israel to Greece.

Can the non-vaccinated travel to Greece?

Mitsotakis was quick to clarify that the most likely scenario for travelers who have not been vaccinated will see Greece requesting a negative Covid-19 test upon their entry.

“But for those who have been vaccinated, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to travel to Greece,” he said.

The Greek PM also underlined that he sees many EU member states having an interest to explore the vaccine certificate idea further.

“And I think the reason is that their citizens want to travel and they want us to make travel as easy as possible, especially during the summer holidays,” Mitsotakis said.

It is noted that the Greek PM’s proposal on a common European vaccine certificate has been discussed among member states but a decision was not reached. Instead, member states agreed on a set of guidelines that will allow for the establishment of an EU-wide accepted vaccination certificate to be used for “medical purposes”.

However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said that the Greek PM’s proposal will be discussed again.

“I do hope that at some point at the European level we will also agree on a common certificate template for all European countries,” Mitsotakis told Bloomberg.

“People will want to travel, especially during the summer, and it doesn’t make much sense to me not to facilitate travel to the extent that we feel comfortable to welcome people who have been vaccinated,” he concluded.

It is noted that Greece has not set a date for when vaccination certificates will be accepted for entry. Greece’s current rules for international arrivals can be found here.

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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. Olga Reply

    Will Chinese or Russian vaccine be included in Covid passport?

  2. Jan Kallish Reply

    What about those from non-EU countries who have been vaccinated, specifically those of us from the US. When will United States citizens who have been vaccinated be allowed to enter Greece?

  3. Keith Reply

    Vaccination certificate would be good for UK and foreign travel,

  4. Jane Reply

    Here in Wales we are given a card with details of the vaccinations we receive. Will this be sufficient? We are desperate to return to Greece for our three annual trips.

  5. Patricia Billimore Reply

    What about the UK?

  6. Maggie Ferguson Reply

    Will the vaccination card issued by the hospital or practice after vaccination and showing dates and information on both vaccinations be accepted as a Vaccine Certificate?

  7. Wayne Patrick Reply

    This seems like an extremely sensible concept both for Greece and for prospective travelers, The UK has tentatively said that they would facilitate this, lets hope that this actually happens and a commitment to it is given as soon as possible

  8. Pamela Wigham Reply

    In the UK we receive an email confirming which vaccine we have received and it confirms the first and second vaccine received. Is this enough confirmation for the Greek government to accept as verification.

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