Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on Tuesday for the creation of an EU-wide COVID-19 vaccination certificate to help restore cross-border travel that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Greece, which relies on tourism for a fifth of its economic output and is keen to revive travel before the summer season, has already created its own standardised certificate to prove an individual has been vaccinated.
In a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Mitsotakis proposed extending the scheme to the whole 27-nation EU. The certificate could be used when embarking on all forms of transport.
“While we are not going to make vaccination compulsory or a prerequisite for travel, persons who have been vaccinated should be free to travel,” he said in the letter.
“(It is) urgent to adopt a common understanding on how a vaccination certificate should be structured so as to be accepted in all member states,” Mitsotakis added.
The difficulty in agreeing a common EU digital Passenger Locator Form (PLF), established last year to try to track travel movements, has shown that there is a strong need for a high-level EU effort to move things forward, he said.