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GreekReporter.com Greece Greece to Begin Issuance of Digital "Green Passport" on Friday

Greece to Begin Issuance of Digital “Green Passport” on Friday

Green passport
A new “Digital Green Passport” will be issued throughout the EU as the continent recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Patricia Claus/Greek Reporter

A digital “Green Passport” will be unveiled for the first time on Friday, May 28, in a bid to enable easier tourism into Greece as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Called the “EU Digital Covid Certificate,” the new digital document will be shown to the public for the first time by Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

The “passport” consists of a certificate confirming that travelers are indeed Covid-free by showing that the bearer is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, was recently recovered from the infection and issued a clean bill of health, or had recently tested negative for the virus.

The entire concept of such a document was originally broached by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis back in January of this year, as the nations of the EU mulled how they would tackle the many issues involved with reopening the continent to tourists after the pandemic.

Digital Green Passport idea proposed by Greek PM Mitsotakis

Government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said earlier on Thursday at a press briefing that “Greece is ready to introduce the (green) certificate and its official introduction at the European level is expected on July 1.

“It will act as an express lane for all Europeans, it will facilitate border controls, and consequently, travelers,” she noted.

The Friday presentation will be attended by Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, as well as Greek politician Margaritis Schinas, the Vice President of the European Commission.

Peloni began the press briefing on Thursday by referring to the gradual resumption of social and economic activities across the nation as it emerges from the many lockdowns and strictures occasioned by the pandemic.

“Greece is continuing the process of resuming economic and social activities with gradual and careful steps, according to the roadmap announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Tomorrow, Friday, May 28, live open-air events will resume,” Peloni noted. “The main concern of the government in this phase is the strengthening of tourist flows to our country,” she added.

“All the necessary measures have been taken so that (Greece) operates as a safe tourist destination with targeted actions to attract visitors. In this regard, it is extremely positive that the EU…has accepted the proposal of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and is implementing a European digital covid certificate that will facilitate the movement of European citizens,” she added.

Peloni also stressed that this was “an important success for our country, which will not only benefit people in the tourism industry and in local communities, but also the economy and society as a whole.”

Vaccination was the country’s ally in the resumption of economic and social activities, the spokesperson added, and more importantly, created a shield of protection for each Greek citizen.

For this reason, she said, it was important that the “Freedom” vaccination campaign continue throughout the country at a rapid pace. More than 5,206,000 vaccinations have already been administered and the effort was continuing apace.

Peloni noted that “More than 3,416,000 of our fellow citizens have been vaccinated with at least one dose, while more than 1,880,000 have completed their vaccination.”

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