Individuals vaccinated against Covid-19 abroad or who have a certificate of recovery from the disease issued by a non-EU country, will be able to acquire a vaccination certificate in Greece with an electronic signature in the next few days, according to the Ministry of Digital Governance.
Until recently, proof of vaccination was only being required at border checkpoints when entering the country. The stricter measures, introduced to keep Covid-19 case numbers low, is now addressing vaccination cards issued from the US so they will also carry the accepted electronic signature being used across Greece for entry into enclosed venues.
On a Facebook group for foreigners in Athens, several individuals complained that with the more intense protocols in Greece to combat the pandemic, they were being restricted from venues, even though they had been vaccinated in their home countries.
US Covid-19 Record Card Not Recognized; new vaccination certificates on the way
Venue staff responsible for entry are only using the QR scanner, issued by the Greek government, to allow customers to pass through the doors of an establishment’s enclosed spaces. The electronic scanners cannot read anything that is without a unique bar code or QR code. US vaccination certificates are signed and dated but have no electronic signature or code.
The government has imposed heavy fines on venues that have allowed entry to patrons who do not have a vaccination certificate or negative rapid test that registers in the COVID Free GR system.
The new vaccination certificates will be issued via an application on the gov.gr platform, which will also allow users who have completed the initial round of vaccinations abroad to book an appointment for a booster shot in Greece.
In relation to the foreign vaccination certificate the government announcement stated:
“The Secretariat General for Commerce and Consumer Protection of the Ministry of Development and Investment announces to enterprises in catering, entertainment and retail services and consumers in general that according to recent legislation: “Extraordinary measures for the protection of public health against the spread of Covid-19” entry and service for foreign customers who hold certificates of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 coming from countries other than the European Union will be allowed entry by presenting their certificates and their passports without being checked through the COVID Free GR platform.”
For establishments that are as yet unaware of the appropriate legislation and do not allow entry because they do not recognize vaccination cards issued by non-EU nations, carrying a copy of the legislation, printed or saved in a smart phone, is recommended.
Meanwhile, measures restricting the movements of people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 appear to be creating positive results, as increased activity on the government’s emvolio.gov.gr vaccination platform indicates.
Appointments on the platform came to 105,000 as the week began, with 27,000 of those for the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.
The Emvolio platform will open for booster shots for the general population on November 19. Boosters are recommended six months after the completion of initial vaccination. Current Covid-19 certificate vaccination will be considered expired after seven months have past after an individual as received the second dose.