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Greece Ready to Issue EU Digital Covid Certificate for Travel

Greeks will be able to issue an EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate – also referred to as the “green pass – to facilitate travel, starting on June 1, according to Greek authorities.

More specifically, Greece will be ready to grant the certificates to its residents next month after successfully passing simulation tests. Greece is one of 17 EU countries to have participated in the tests, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders confirmed on Friday.  

Speaking on SKAI television over the weekend, Deputy Digital Governance Minister Georgios Georgantas said the “health passport is aimed at facilitating movement within the EU and is set to go into effect most likely on June 20”.

It is reminded that the certificates, which EU member states agreed provisionally to last week, will indicate whether the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has a negative PCR test result, or proof of recovery.

How Greeks Can Issue Their ‘Green Pass’

Residents of Greece can as of June 1 get their EU Digital Covid-19 Certificates by logging into to https://www.gov.gr/ and using their TAXISnet passwords or the social security AMKA number.

The issued certificates can be used across the EU, will be accepted by all member states, and will ensure the holder will not be subject to restrictions or quarantine.

They will include a QR code with a digital signature aimed at protecting from forgery which will be verified on the Commission’s EU Gateway portal. 

The ‘green pass’ will include the following information: name, date of birth, date of issue, vaccination details, negative diagnostic results, or  recovery info, and will contain a unique identification code. 

The EU Covid-19 Certificate will be free of charge and available in paper or digital format.

Personal information will not be collected or held by countries the traveler is visiting. 

Under last week’s deal, the certificate should be in place for 12 months.

Photo source: European Travel Commission

Next Steps

EU authorities are now in the process of setting up the relevant verification technology and modifying their national health system registry.

The EU proposal must first formally be adopted by member states and then go to the European Parliament for ratification set for its next plenary session in June. 

“All member states must get fully ready during the month of June, so they can hit the ground running when the regulation enters into force on July 1,” said Reynders.

EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders

It should be noted that it is up to each individual member state to decide on whether green pass holders will be required to have completed all doses of the vaccine. Commissioner Reynders confirmed this on Friday  adding that EU members agreed last week to avoid introducing additional restrictions on green pass holders unless there is cause to do so based on the epidemiological situation. In this case, he said, the country would be required to inform the Commission of its decision and reasoning.

“The regulation underlines that member states shall refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital Covid Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health,” he said.

Global travel and tourism stakeholders welcomed the Covid pass deal last week urging EU states to coordinate, enforce the recommendations, and not introduce additional restrictions.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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