U.K. Vaccine Passport Could Allow British Tourists to Travel This Spring

UK vaccine passport could allow British to travel this spring

The United Kingdom is considering the creation of a vaccination passport for those who have received the required two dosages of a COVID-19 vaccine, which would allow its citizens to enter countries that will accept it.

It appears that Greece is one nation that is interested in welcoming these approved Brits by the summer while others such as Denmark and Sweden are considering doing so as well.

The timeline that is being considered is the adoption of this vaccination passport in May.

That would result in Brits, who often travel to countries such as Greece in significant numbers during the summer season, an opportunity to provide a significant jolt of revenue to places desperate for that income. For example, in 2019, the tourism industry accounted for a fifth of Greece’s GDP.

Greece is the only known country that appears ready to immediately welcome these approved Brits.

In fact, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the country’s prime minister, has said that he would welcome a common vaccination passport system that involves significantly more countries than just the U.K.

In non-pandemic years, about 2 million Brits travel to this country every year and spend about $10 billion there. The only country that tends to send more of its citizens to Greece is Germany.

Soldier vaccinating a citizen in the U.K
Soldier vaccinating a citizen in the U.K

However, it appears that Greek officials are not confident that enough Germans will be vaccinated by the summer in order to have any sort of significant impact on their tourism industry and on their economy as a whole.

On the other hand, American and Israeli tourists are expected to also have a notable impact on Greece’s economy this summer as Greek officials are pleased with how many of those citizens are being vaccinated.

They are also hoping that coordination amongst E.U. countries will occur soon so that travel from vaccinated individuals in Germany and from other E.U. countries to Greece can be easily done.

Greek officials have added that plans are in the works to subsidize salaries that many in the travel industry are earning over the coming months, but it is unsure exactly how that will come about.

At the moment, however, approved vaccinated Brits would still need to provide a recent negative PCR test in order to be welcomed into Greece, which would likely cause some Brits to resist heading there.

Within the U.K., 11 million of its population of 68 million received the first vaccine dose through the first four days of February while more than half a million of its citizens have also received the second dose.

Officials there are hoping that vaccinations continue at a steady rate to combat the fast spread of the more contagious COVID-19 variant that had been discovered within its borders in December.