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Greece's COVID Passports Coming July 1, The First In The EU
Greece’s COVID passports are coming soon, according to The Guardian. The country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said the system will be ready to go on or before the deadline of July 1.
Mitsotakis said the passports will be a “fast lane to facilitate travel.” The technology has already been successfully tested and found to work as intended.
“This is particularly important for Greece as a tourism country,” said Mitsotakis. “But, I think important for every single state because what we want to do is we want to restore freedom of movement. Essentially, it includes all the information that a member state would need to welcome a traveler without imposing additional restrictions: proof of vaccination, a proof of negative test, PCR or antigen, or a proof of [past] illness.”
The COVID passport was presented at a launch in Athens, along with a demonstration showing how it works with Germany’s and Iceland’s systems.
When organizations such as testing centers and hospitals issue proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test result, or proof of a person having fully recovered from COVID-19, the QR code on these documents can be scanned and stored on a mobile device or scanned by border patrol.
The system that will include Greece’s COVID passports will be integrated between all EU countries and will also be able to link with similar systems of other countries outside the EU.
For example, if the UK does not end up having a COVID passport program of its own, fully vaccinated British citizens who want to travel within the EU can receive a certificate upon providing paperwork from their home country. They can then be exempt from restrictions that would otherwise prevent then from moving freely within the EU.
“The free movement of people is a great European achievement, and it’s why it’s so important to demonstrate after this COVID-19 crisis that you are able to guarantee the free movement of citizens, Charles Michel, president of the European Council said.