The key elements of the Digital Green Certificate, which is expected to enable restriction-free movement in Europe, were discussed during a teleconference between the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas.
Held one day before the European Commission made its proposal for the launch of a common Digital Green Certificate, Commissioner Schinas highlighted that the goal is for the vaccination certificate to be ready before the summer.
“Tourism is the DNA of our country, it is its image in the world, it is its brand. With the European Digital Green Certificate, which will be common, interoperable and legally binding, we are paving the way for safe mobility this summer across Europe,” he said.
On his part, SETE President Yiannis Retsos referred to the need to implement the certificate as a basis for drafting a tourism restart plan, which will determine the developments for this season.
“The certificate was a very good idea that started from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. When it was tabled in January, it was criticized at both European and Greek levels. But it is impressive how fast the European Union moved in order for us to be talking today about the establishment of this certificate”.
He then called for the swift implementation of the Digital Green Certificate in time for summer 2021.
‘Everything must be clarified as soon as possible’
Referring to this year’s tourism season, Retsos noted that Greece has already lost bookings that are usually made in the first quarter of the year, while April is also lost from the season, for the second consecutive year.
“Apparently, although a date has been set by the government for the season to begin on May 14, most of May – if not the whole month – will also be lost from the season. So basically, we are discussing what will happen from June onwards. If we consider that we opened to tourism in July last year, it is very crucial that everything are clarified as soon as possible. Because if June is also lost from the season, then we all realize that the goal we have set to achieve at least 40% to 50% of the revenues of 2019, will move farther away,” SETE’s president stressed.
Retsos also thanked Commissioner Schinas for his efforts to make the adoption of the Digital Green Certificate possible on a European level, but also for giving SETE a voice in Europe.
To be ready before the summer, the Commission’s proposal for the Digital Green Certificate needs a swift adoption by the European Parliament and the Council, and for all EU States to immediately begin preparations for its implementation.