NEW YORK – Forbes featured five Greek destinations among the 15 in the article titled, “COVID Passport: The 15 Best European Destinations Ready for Vaccinated Travelers,” on March 7.
“As the European Commission prepares to present a project to issue a digital vaccination passport, some European Union member countries are ready to recognize the document and are implementing lighter conditions for vaccinated travelers in an effort to rescue summer tourism,” Forbes reported.
“With a tourism industry that provides 27 million jobs throughout Europe and generates around 10% of the E.U.'s GDP, countries across the continent are desperate to encourage the return of summer tourists with the `digital green pass' or vaccination passport appearing as the best scheme to facilitate travel to the EU,” Forbes reported, adding that “the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, supports the project of a common vaccination certificate and the World Health Organization is working on an international certificate.”
“Whether in digital or paper form, the vaccine passport or proof of vaccination will be issued by the country of origin and will allow travelers to move around Europe and to come to Europe from abroad, without having to do additional COVID-19 tests or enter quarantine,” Forbes reported, noting that “the document will state the name, date of birth, health system identification, type and date of the test and specific vaccines (date of the two doses taken), including respect for the immunization period according to the instructions for each vaccine.”
“Many European countries already are committed to recognizing passports issued not only in the continent but by other countries at the international level as well,” Forbes reported, adding that “at the top of the list of countries that have already committed to welcoming visitors who have a vaccination certificate (also known as vaccine passport, COVID-19 passport or corona passport) is Iceland, the first European country issuing COVID-19 passports to its vaccinated citizens.”
Iceland “is prepared to recognize vaccination certificates starting with the ones issued by 26 other European countries belonging to the Schengen Area,” Forbes reported, noting that “Greece and Portugal (especially the autonomous regions of Madeira Islands and the Azores) as well as Georgia, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic, are moving in the same direction and starting to implement lightened health measures for vaccinated travelers by issuing vaccine passports for their vaccinated citizens and by recognizing vaccine passports/vaccination certificates issued by other E.U. and non-E.U. countries.”