Greece to allow Brits in for ‘summer holidays with their NHS Covid jab card’

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Hot summer holidays, golden beaches, and clear blue waves may be that much closer as Greece's tourism minister said Brits could visit with their NHS Covid cards.

Harry Theocharis said the country was happy to accept the paper handwritten card while the UK and EU develop digital health passports for travellers.

It could also mean families may avoid having to pay for the PCR test to enter the holiday hotspot.

The Sun reports that the paper document would be acceptable, and those who haven't received their jab can enter if they have a negative PCR test.

Mr Theocharis said at the World Travel and Tourism Summit in Mexico: “Until the UK has a digital passport, we have seen the paper cards that are provided with the two vaccine appointment dates and we are recognising them. They can be used on the ground and at the borders.”

He added that Greece would look at accepting the cheaper, rapid antigen tests in the coming months.

However, Portugal's secretary of state for tourism rejected the idea, citing fears that the document could be forged.

Rita Marques said: “As you can imagine a piece of paper with some handwriting on it is not considered to be as secure as we would like.

“It is very important that we avoid fraud and an integrated digital pass is the way forward, with a QR code.

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“We are working with the European Commission to have in place a system that will allow us to welcome holidaymakers safely.”

Both countries added they believe their vaccination rollouts and case rates should allow them a spot on the UK's green list of safe travel destinations which is set to be published in early May.

Portugal aims to open its borders from mid-May for UK travellers but a confirmed date hasn't yet been set.

Greece on the other hand said it'll welcome Brits from May 3.

Under the proposed traffic light scheme, Brits will be able to visit countries on the green list without needing to self-isolate upon return.

But they will need to undergo a PCR test when they land on UK soil.

Those on the amber list will require Brits to self-isolate for 10 days and take a PCR test on day two and eight and can pay for a third test to leave quarantine early on day five.

  • NHS
  • Holidays
  • Coronavirus

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