Israel opened Pandora's box.
First Israel agreed with Cyprus, and later with Greece, and so they did Greece, Cyprus and Israel concluded agreements that allow citizens with Covid-19 vaccination certificates to travel without restrictions and quarantine between the three countries.
The result of the agreement between Greece, Cyprus and Israel also attracted Royal Caribbean International, which with its new cruiser starts traveling right from Israel. An example in which more and more countries are turning to one of the solutions - all with the aim of activating tourism, ie starting the economy.
The European Commission would 17. March 2021. should propose a “digital green pass” (vaccination certificate or so-called covid passport) as well as answer all questions about the standardization of all travel protocols at EU level, with a final decision or implementation expected before the summer. While Europe is waiting for the councils, ie it is late with all decisions and protocols, other countries want to create all the preconditions for the activation of tourism as soon as possible and thus start the economy.
On the other hand, the UK is currently in everyone's focus. Namely, Great Britain is among the top three countries in the world in terms of vaccinating citizens, only Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have vaccinated more citizens.
And so in the wake of Israel, everyone is looking at how to make an agreement with the UK that would allow all Britons who have received two doses of the vaccine or who have survived COVID 19 to travel without entry to the country. Of course with a vaccination certificate.
From Greece, the Canary Islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain and many other countries are in a low start and have already started communication to the British authorities, because they see British tourists as the first target group to travel en masse due to high vaccination coverage. Even the mayor of Dubrovnik has launched the same initiative for Croatia. It should certainly be emphasized that the United Kingdom and Israel are not members of the EU, and citizens from these countries are seen as third-country nationals (who are not nationals of EU member states), for whom EU-level rules do not apply. However, in this field as well, the European Commission should have a clear position. Will the EU framework be standardized or will each country set its own rules of the game when it comes to tourists from third countries.
For example, as an open question: Will only vaccines registered in the EU or some others be recognized, which is again crucial to define for third-country nationals, etc.…
We depend on the European Commission, and decisions are late. Instead of reacting quickly, the EC is sluggish
While awaiting the EC's decision, Spain has meanwhile threatened to consider the aforementioned "green corridor with the UK" for vaccinated British tourists if no agreement is reached with the EU on passports / vaccination certificates. Slovenia, Hungary, Iceland and other countries have already introduced covid passports, ie they have allowed travelers who have been vaccinated or overcame covid, and have a certificate of the same, to enter without quarantine or testing.
Vaccinated tourists from Israel will be able to enter Croatia without restrictions
Croatia also opened negotiations with Israel yesterday that Israelis can enter only with a vaccination certificate, ie without a negative PCR test, and vice versa.
The Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac and the Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Croatia HE Ilan Mor held a meeting to reach an agreement that would allow tourists from both countries to facilitate visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am satisfied with the meeting. We have started a dialogue on travel methods and protocols for tourists from Croatia and Israel, and we hope that we will soon reach an agreement that will be one of the most important elements for the upcoming season. ", said Minister Brnjac.
Minister Brnjac presented to Ambassador Mora the project and functional website "Safe Stay in Croatia", ie the way in which tourists visiting Croatia will check that the prescribed epidemiological measures and health safety recommendations have been taken at the location.
On the other hand, it is not good to reduce everything to individual agreements, instead of those already defined at the European level. Again, instead of synergy and a common market, each state looks at itself. This is the result of indecision and late decision-making at EU level that will have far-reaching negative consequences in the future, from vaccine agreements and now to the creation of clear frameworks and standards for tourism activation.
Uncertainty and nervousness in the tourism sector is at its peak
As mentioned above, the EC's decisions on open issues, or at least the draft version, should be known next week, in order to create a "safe" and clear protocol for traveling in the European market. From the issue of validation of rapid tests - antigen and / or PCR tests, vaccines, covid passes / certificates / passports, mutual recognition of vaccination certificates at the EU level. Lots of questions and too few answers that are key to preparing for the tourist season.
Three days ago, Krunoslav Capak told a news conference that it was too early to talk about a covid-passport and crossing borders related to receiving vaccines, but it is certain that this will happen soon. There may be time from his point of view, but unfortunately the fact is that we are late.
Uncertainty in the tourism sector is at its peak, which is further expressed by problems with vaccine delivery, where the pre-season has practically failed. All entrepreneurs must know how to organize and plan, which is already complicated by the Covida-19 pandemic where everything is monitored from week to week, and therefore it is crucial to define all standards to know clear rules on how to travel.
Not only because of the tourism sector, but also because of the tourists themselves, because at the moment there is still chaos and noise in communication and travelers do not think so much about travel. Simply the current travel framework is uncertain and unstable, despite a great desire to travel. But it’s one thing to want to travel, and it’s one thing to sit with your family in a car or a plane and embark on a journey.
That is why it is crucial to define clear standards and protocols at European level as soon as possible, so that rules and protocols are clear to all passengers. This is the first prerequisite. The longer we wait to make decisions, the more there will be "black swans" within the EU, because logically everyone wants to start the economy as soon as possible.
Photo: Kyler Boone