Quarantine and corona tests could soon be a thing of the past. But only for vaccinated people. So that carefree travel in Europe is possible again, Greece requires the European Union (EU) to issue a uniform vaccination certificate that is accepted in all member states.
The conservative Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (52) calls for this in a letter to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen (62). «Dear Ursula», writes Mitsotakis, «people who are vaccinated should be able to travel freely. This will also be a positive incentive to ensure that citizens are encouraged to get vaccinated, as this is the only way to ensure a return to normal. “
Slump in economic output
The letter was published by Mitsotakis’ office. With the introduction of a uniform vaccination pass in the EU, the Prime Minister hopes to be able to stimulate tourism again this summer. Because around 30 percent of the country’s economic output depends on tourism.
The corona crisis has left its mark: in 2020 the Greek economy collapsed by 10.5 percent. Greece is also currently fighting the second corona wave. In early November, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown that lasted until
January 18 was extended.
Mitsotakis calls on Commission chief von der Leyen to campaign for a vaccination certificate, “which proves that a person has been vaccinated successfully”. It is urgently necessary to have a uniform vaccination certificate «so that it is accepted in all member states».
Discussion required at the summit
The vaccination certificate should not be a mandatory requirement in order to be able to board an airplane in the future. But travelers who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus should no longer be subject to restrictions, according to Mitsotakis.
Mitsotakis wants the EU heads of state and government to deal with the question of a vaccination pass at their summit on January 21. Several European countries are already in the process of developing digital solutions. In October, Estonia signed an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a digital vaccination record. If the WHO has its way, this “Smart Yellow Card” should become a constant companion on the smartphone when traveling around the world.
What is Switzerland doing?
There is also an e-vaccination card in Switzerland. Corona vaccinated people can access their data «MyCOVIDvac» enter and print out the document yourself. The entry in the database is voluntary. It is not known whether Switzerland would join any standardized EU vaccination pass.
The move from Greece enjoys support from the largest group in the EU Parliament: The head of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber (48), sees the proposal as a “practicable solution”, as he does opposite «picture» explained. But according to “Handelsblatt” criticism is also loud. The Green MP Rasmus Andresen (34) says: «We do not want any privileges for vaccinated people. We are therefore skeptical of the proposal. ” (noo)