Mitsotakis Wants EU to OK COVID-19 Self-Tests for Returning Tourists

ATHENS – He was the first to propose digital COVID-19 certificates to let tourists travel within the European Union without risk of quarantine and now Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis  said travelers should be allowed to self test or rapid test on return, not face expensive molecular tests.

The EU, notorious for dithering, waited too long to adopt the travel certificate idea, the delay keeping many from making vacation plans in the bloc and Mitotakis doesn't want another obstacle to Greece's hopes to lure tourists.

His suggestion came on the last day of a meeting of EU leaders, said Kathimerini, as he argued that rapid tests and self-tests have proven to be a very useful tool for epidemiological surveillance in Greece.

He also noted the while the EU took a long time to come around the idea of a travel certificate that it was finally agreed on at “such great speed” even if won't be in effect early enough to convince more people to come to Greece and the bloc.

He said he hoped the EU would “implement it as soon as possible, with uniform rules,” in order to substantially restore freedom of movement although the EU is notorious for delays and procrastination.

He said that vaccination programs also behind schedule because of the EU's cumbersome reaction despite having months to prepare will get better and that it will bring down the pandemic so that, “We will be able to avoid additional restrictions,” such as quarantines or tests even for the vaccinated.

Mitsotakis, while being upbeat as he needs tourists to reboot a limping economy brought down by lockdowns, simultaneously warned that, “We are not done with the pandemic,” although many Greeks have returned to near normal-life.

He said that booster vaccinations would be needed in another nine months to a year and that the EU should this time be ready to have enough and get them distributed after an initial debacle.

The next step for the travel certificate is for the 27 member states to call for the European Council to make revisions by mid-June, again likely too late for many people to make summer travel plans.

EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders noted that it would be possible to issue and use certificates before July 1 and that more attention is being paid to rapid antigen tests whose quality is improving.

He said the European Commission had already purchased 20 million of the tests at a cost of 100 million euros ($122.41 million) and is going to get another 550 million at a cost of 2.6 billion euros ($3.18 billion) as well.


ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the new Cabinet at a meeting held in the Maximos Mansion on Saturday, said that he chose this first meeting after the elections to coincide with the government reshuffle "in order to send an overall message of dynamic restart because June 9 was a landmark in our up to date course but also a new start for the next three years of our term" .

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

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.


1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

DUESSELDORF, Germany  — It was a classic N'Golo Kanté performance.

FRANKFURT, Germany  — Two Romelu Lukaku goals were ruled out by video review and Belgium fell to a stunning 1-0 loss to Slovakia in wild Group E at the European Championship on Monday.

TORONTO  — A man and woman were shot to death and a male suspected as the attacker also died Monday at a north Toronto office space near a daycare center and a school, authorities said.

FLUSHING, NY – St. John’s Head Coach Rick Pitino was honored for his outstanding contributions to Panathinaikos B.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

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