Sunday, 11 Apr 2021 - 29 of Nisan, 5781
EU

France rejects Netanyahu’s proposal for a ‘travel corridor’ for vaccinated citizens

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European Union countries are divided over developing vaccine passports to open the continent up to tourism this summer.

Greece, where tourism contributes to 25% of its GDP, has been leading the call for an EU-wide vaccine certificate to ensure it can benefit from summer tourism.

 

France has rejected Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to establish a travel corridor between the two countries that would allow vaccinated citizens respective visitation rights. 

Contacted by French broadcaster BFMTV, Elysee Palace said it has not yet been contacted by the Israeli Prime Minister on this subject, an idea that was first suggested by Netanyahu in an interview he gave to i24NEWS channel.

“The statement by Benjamin Netanyahu are only his own,” Paris replied in response to the suggestion.

“France does not intend, to date, to settle the issue bilaterally.”

If a so-called vaccination passport is to be put in place, it will be decided “at the European level, via the mandate given to the European Commission,” the Elysee told BFMTV.

Netanyahu said that similar agreements on health passports have been struck with Greece and Cyprus.

However, he explained that he intended to introduce the passports plan to other countries as well.

In Israel, travel privileges are allowed to anyone who has received the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine or those who have recovered from COVID-19.

More than five million Israelis  have already been vaccinated with at least the first dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine since the launch of the vaccination campaign in December.

European Union countries are divided over developing vaccine passports to open the continent up to tourism this summer.

Some countries want an EU-wide approach instead of individual nations having their own certificates, while others are concerned such documentation could result in discrimination.

Greece, where tourism contributes to 25% of its GDP, has been leading the call for an EU-wide vaccine certificate to ensure it can benefit from summer tourism.

Athens is in talks with Britain about using a digital “Green Pass”, which it has already agreed with Israel, that issues certificates for people who have had both of their coronavirus jabs.

Spain, Austria and Bulgaria also support the EU-wide certificate.

But France and Belgium, are concerned vaccine certificates would discriminate against those who have not been immunised.

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