EU must “move more quickly” on vaccination passports: Tourism Minister

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EU leaders must “move more quickly” and adopt vaccination certificates, which will allow citizens to resume mass travel, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Looking at the reaction of some countries to vaccination certificate proposals, I feel there’s a lot of short sightedness. There’s more to be done now to prepare ourselves,” Theocharis told the British newspaper.

Haris Theocharis.

“Some countries are very much preoccupied now,” he said, adding: “We need to move more quickly.”

According to the newspaper, diplomats consider it unlikely that the proposed system will be adopted from now due to fears that it would create a two-speed system for citizens’ travel rights.

Speaking to the newspaper, Theocharis stressed that the planning for safe travel should be agreed soon as people should know by now if it will be possible to take a summer vacation this year.

The British newspaper notes that Greece signed an agreement with Israel this month that allows travel between the two countries to those who have been vaccinated without having to show a negative test.

Theocharis said talks were under way on a similar arrangement with the United Kingdom, although Britain does not issue vaccination certificates for its population.

digital vaccination certificate
Greek vaccination certificate.

“I don’t understand this kind of messaging. People from the UK were able to have a vacation,” the Greek Minister said.

“I don’t see how we can take one step back now that we have more tools in our arsenal,” he added.

ANthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes.

He also insisted that vaccination would not be mandatory for travel and that it would only mean that those who had been vaccinated would not have to take the COVID-19 test to enter the country.

READ MORE: Greece releases digital vaccination certificate.