Coronavirus: Vaccinated Israelis may soon be able to visit Greece
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [L] with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis [R].
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
The agreement, should it be signed, is not expected to go into effect immediately, as the vaccine’s level of effectiveness is still being examined.
Israel and Greece have been negotiating an arrangement by which Israelis who received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be able to visit Greece in the coming months, a government official confirmed on Wednesday.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to visit Israel and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. The Greek foreign and tourism ministers plan to come, as well, and meet with their Israeli counterparts.
“We are hopeful one of the things being discussed will be Greece accepting Israeli documentation about inoculations, which will allow Israelis to visit Greece,” a government official said. It would also allow vaccinated Greek citizens to visit Israel.The Israeli documentation, known as the Green Passport, also applies to those who recovered from coronavirus and have antibodies.
The agreement, should it be signed, is not expected to go into effect immediately, as the vaccine’s level of effectiveness is still being examined, the official said.
While Israel has the highest coronavirus vaccination rate in the world, the EU’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has stalled in recent weeks.
Mitsotakis’s visit is set to take place as commercial flights in and out of Israel have been grounded, but private planes can still enter and leave the country.
Other topics that are likely to arise in Netanyahu and Mitsotakis’s meeting are the EastMed pipeline project, which would be the longest gas pipeline in the world, stretching from Israel to Europe, as well as Greek concerns over tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.