ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to as on Tuesday for the creation of an EU-wide COVID-19 vaccination certificates to assist restore cross-border journey that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Greece, which depends on tourism for a fifth of its financial output and is eager to revive journey earlier than the summer season season, has already created its personal standardised certificates to show a person has been vaccinated.
In a letter to European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, Mitsotakis proposed extending the scheme to the entire 27-nation EU. The certificates might be used when embarking on all types of transport.
“Whereas we aren’t going to make vaccination obligatory or a prerequisite for journey, individuals who’ve been vaccinated needs to be free to journey,” he mentioned within the letter.
“(It’s) pressing to undertake a standard understanding on how a vaccination certificates needs to be structured in order to be accepted in all member states,” Mitsotakis added.
The issue in agreeing a standard EU digital Passenger Locator Type (PLF), established final yr to attempt to monitor journey actions, has proven that there’s a robust want for a high-level EU effort to maneuver issues ahead, he mentioned.
If EU states can agree a standard system “we will then push the problem ahead within the related worldwide fora, thus contributing to the re-establishment of mobility on a worldwide scale,” the letter mentioned.
“For international locations reminiscent of Greece, that are depending on tourism, it is crucial that this challenge is resolved earlier than the summer season season.”
Greece weathered the primary wave of the pandemic comparatively effectively however a surge in circumstances since October has badly strained its well being system, weakened by a decade-long monetary disaster, prompting authorities to order a second lockdown in November.
It has up to now confirmed 145,179 circumstances of COVID and 5,302 associated deaths.
(Writing by James Mackenzie; Modifying by Gareth Jones)