Israel, Greece sign ‘green passport’ travel deal for vaccinated citizens
Published: Feb 09, 2021 07:04 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) listens to a statement by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after their meeting in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Israel and Greece agreed a tourism deal Monday that will allow coronavirus-vaccinated citizens of the two countries to travel between them without limitations, once flights resume.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the agreement "will allow us... to be able to offer Israeli tourists the opportunity to spend their holidays in Greece without any restrictions" at a joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

This would go into effect once "a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated" and travel restrictions are lifted, Mitsotakis said.

"I hope to be able to welcome Israeli tourists as soon as possible to Greece."

Israel has vaccinated more than 3.5 million of its nine million-strong population - of which more than two million have received two doses - since mid-December, in what is widely described as the world's fastest vaccination campaign per capita.

Greece had carried out fewer than 360,000 vaccinations in the country of 11 million as of the end of last week and restrictions relaxed over Christmas were reimposed on Friday as part of an ongoing lockdown, amid an upsurge in infections in recent weeks.

Netanyahu said the two prime ministers discussed a "green passport" vaccine certificate arrangement that will allow Israeli tourists "to go to Greece without any limitations. No self-isolation. Nothing," when flight restrictions are lifted.

Israeli Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, who signed the agreement with her Greek counterpart, called on tourists from Greece to visit Israel.