Israel, Greece Sign Deal to Allow Vaccinated Tourists to Travel

Israel and Greece have signed a deal on Feb. 8 to allow vaccinated tourists to travel between the two countries, renewing its tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced in a joint press conference in Jerusalem that the travel deal allows the two countries to recognize their respective “green passports” or vaccination certificates.

Netanyahu said that the deal allows vaccinated tourists to travel between the two countries “without any limitations, no self-isolation, nothing.”

Mitsotakis said that the deal would come into effect once “a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated.”

Israel has vaccinated over 3.5 million of its population of nine million since last December and has began lifting restrictions designed to curb the spread of the virus on Feb. 7 after nearly six weeks of nationwide lockdown.

However, Israel has yet to lift the ban on incoming and outgoing flights, which remain in effect until Feb. 20.

Meanwhile, Greece has so far vaccinated 360,000 of its population of 11 million. Greece has begun easing its restrictions despite increasing COVID-19 cases.

Both countries have economies largely depending on its tourism sector, which has been devastated by travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

The deal comes as other countries have set tough new travel restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of more contagious variants of the virus.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Israel has recorded 692,101 cases and 5,121 deaths, while Greece has recorded 163,946 cases and 5,972 deaths.

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