x

Politics

Greece Wants COVID-19 Vaccine Proof for EU Travel – But Not to Greece

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ idea about tourists needing to carry a certificate showing they were vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel in the European Union won’t apply to Greece.

Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis told SKAI TV that, “Under no circumstance will it become a condition for someone to travel to our country,” a practice, which if followed by other countries nullify the scheme.

Tourism is Greece’s biggest revenue engine, bringing in as much as 18-20 percent of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 165.03 billion euros ($200.3 billion) but it fell off the map in 2020 during the pandemic.

Theoharis didn’t explain the contradiction of wanting other a vaccine certificate that wouldn’t apply in Greece after the New Democracy government said getting a shot wouldn’t be mandatory – but it would for tourists coming in.

Trying to spin the message, he said Mitsotakis’ proposal was meant to “rock the boat” for the EU to have coordination over vaccines but still didn’t explain why people without a certificate could come to Greece but not elsewhere.

He also said the vaccination certificate and the rapid antigen tests are fast, cheap and effective tools for the reopening of tourism but, if so, why they wouldn’t then be required, especially if the pandemic is still on by summer.

The initial idea, he continued, is to test those who have not been vaccinated upon entry to Greece and let those with the certificate pass freely, to avoid “wasting resources,” without clarifying what that meant.

But he said the final decision won’t be his and that it depends on the advice of a special panel of doctors and scientists that Mitsotakis usually relies on before making decisions vis-a-vis health protocols and the economy. 

Mitsotakis asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to urge the introduction of a coronavirus vaccination certificate that would ease travel between member-states in the bloc, said Politico.

“It is urgent to adopt a common understanding on how a vaccination certificate should be structured so as to be accepted in all member-states,”he said, but apparently just not Greece yet.

RELATED

ATHENS - The will of the government to further strengthen the national health system, as well as the continuation of cooperation between the state and the private sector in the context of corporate social responsibility, was underlined by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his speech on Thursday at the ceremony for the delivery of the renovation project at the paediatric hospitals "Agia Sofia" and "Panagiotis and Aglaia Kyriakou", carried out by OPAP in the framework of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis (Trailer)

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.