As it celebrates its Bicentennial, Greece plays the role of trailblazer again through a new digital program.
In 2020, Greece employed digital technology to limit the spread of technology via SMS and other technologies.
Today, in 2021, the government of Greece is using it to help its citizens get their lives back and to start building a post-COVID world.
As part of these efforts, Greece’s digital vaccination certificate has been released.
Fully digital with a unique QR code in the top right corner that staff can easily scan, the certificate will not be mandatory, but could preferably be used as a means to assist with safe travel procedures.
Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Tuesday clarified that Greece this year will be open to all visitors holding either a negative molecular COVID-19 test or a vaccination certificate when entering the country.
Wanting to put an end to rumours that COVID-19 vaccination will be the exclusive prerequisite for travel to Greece, the minister told Thema 104.6FM that no hotel in the country would refuse hospitality to a visitor that has not been vaccinated.
“The prerequisite for someone to travel to our country (and stay) will be the negative molecular test or the certificate of vaccination,” Theoharis said.
He added that if someone does not want to show their vaccination certificate when entering Greece, they can present a negative COVID-19 test.
“Personal data will be protected,” the minister said.
The idea behind travellers holding vaccination certificates is to assist travellers to move freely within European countries without restrictions, such as being obliged to undergo Covid-19 testing.
On the other hand, unvaccinated citizens will be obliged to present a negative PCR test or antigen test at border points (and maybe undergo quarantine depending on a country’s rules).
Greece has already discussed introducing a vaccination certificate with Israel, Cyprus and Serbia to enable restriction-free admission to travellers.
In addition, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had recently proposed the establishment of an EU-wide digital vaccination certificate to facilitate travel in Europe.
For now, member states have 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”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said that the Greek PM’s proposal would be discussed again.
It is noted that Greece has not set a date yet as for when vaccination certificates will be accepted for entry.
Moreover, during the interview, Minister Theoharis expressed his optimism for tourism.
Minister Theoharis said that he expects 2021 to be a better year than 2020 was for Greece and estimated that travel might pick up after the Easter holiday.