Greece and Israel have agreed to allow free travel for all Israelis that have received a COVID-19 vaccine and wish to visit Greece.

The decision will be put into force once flight restrictions are lifted.

The agreement was signed during the working visit of Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to Jerusalem.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the joint news conference, stressed that Israelis visit Greece in record numbers. Israel has achieved record numbers in vaccination, with more than a third of the population having received a shot so far.

In 2019, some 715,000 Israelis visited Greece. Israel was the ninth country with the most arrivals in Greece.

“I do hope to be able to welcome Israeli tourists as soon as possible” the Greek Prime Minister said. Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated his proposal for a “common European certificate” for people vaccinated against Covid-19 to facilitate opening tourism.

The idea of the “common European certificate” has been presented to the European Commission. So far it has been discarded by member states such as Germany that argue that the “vaccination passport” will create “two speed” travelers in Europe.

Nevertheless, other countries support the idea of allowing more freedom to the inoculated. Denmark and Sweden are planning a “digital vaccine passport” for travelers.

The Ministers of Tourism of Greece and Israel, Harry Theocharis and Orit Farkash-Hacohen, have signed a 5-year strategic agreement in tourism.

The agreement envisages exchange of information and know-how, investments, promotion, innovation and digitization, tourism education and vocational training, as well as coordinated actions by Greece and Israel in international organizations. It also encourages direct cooperation between travel agencies and tourism operators.

In his visit to Israel, Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis was accompanied by Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias.