According to an announcement from a senior European Union official on Friday, Greece will soon be one of the first EU countries to issue vaccination passports.
Greece, which was the first nation to introduced the concept to the EU back in January, will be among the first nations to issue EU Digital Green Certificates on a trial basis, which could begin as soon as the second week of May.
EU Vaccination passports
The Digital Green Certificate is aimed at allowing free movement within the European Union even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They will be available in both physical and digital forms and will be free for all EU residents.
The certificate will be used to show whether the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has received a negative test result or has recovered from it.
The vaccination passport will operate using unique QR codes in order to guarantee their authenticity.
Greece ready to implement EU plans
According to a top European Union official, all EU member states have been divided into three groups, according to their readiness to implement the vaccination passport system.
Greece is included into the first group, which means it will be an early adopter of the system.
Other countries that have been deemed ready to start vaccination passport trials include Spain, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria, Estonia and Luxembourg.
Cyprus has been placed into the second group, meaning it will not start issuing certificates until further into the trial period.
Ferries will employ vaccine certificate system
Greek Shipping and Islands Police Minister Giannis Plakiotakis stated to the press on April 20 that Greek ferries will be using vaccination certificates, self-tests and rapid tests to enable the tourist season to begin this year.
“Τhe green digital vaccination certificate, rapid tests and self tests will be used for voyages with ferries,” the Shipping Minister said earlier today.
Plakiotakis further stated that ferries with cabins will start out at a 55% occupancy rate and those without cabs will be allowed to have only a 50% occupancy rate.
Regarding Thessaloniki’s ferry link with the northern and southern Aegean, he said that the Ministry is promoting long term contracts in order for these ferry routes to be permanent and stable.
The Minister made his remarks after a meeting with the regional governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
“In close cooperation with the Health Ministry’s agencies, of the National Public Health Organization and the epidemiologists, we will maket targeted interventions in the reviewing of the health protocols,” Plakiotakis said.
“In close cooperation with the Health Ministry’s agencies, of the National Public Health Organisation and the epidemiologists, we will maket targeted interventions in the reviewing of the health protocols,” Plakiotakis said.
“We hope, he said, that through the reform of the health protocol and the progress of the vaccinations, to have an immunity wall in the summer in order to be able to experience some normalcy”, he added.
Regarding Thessaloniki’s ferry link with the northern and southern Aegean, he said that the Ministry is promoting long term contracts in order for these ferry routes to be permanent.
According to the EU official, vaccine passports should start to become functional on June 1st and will be fully operational by June 30th.