To speed up the revival of tourism, Bahrain and Israel began by signing an agreement on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. This agreement comes only a few months after normalization between the two countries.
“This will increase tourism, boost our economies and support our common fight against the coronavirus,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a tweet, following the conclusion of this agreement, but its date of application has not yet been communicated.
While the two states have one of the most advanced vaccination rates in the world, this agreement will help relaunch travel between the two countries very quickly.
According to the latest vaccination figures in Israel, half the population has already been vaccinated with the two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, i.e. 5 million people, while in Bahrain, the rate is almost the same with close to the half of the inhabitants, or more than 500,000 people vaccinated twice.
This is the first such agreement concluded between two countries, two years after the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, and at a time when the introduction of a digital vaccine passport within the European Union is still debated.
For critics of the plan to put in place a document certifying vaccination allowing access to priority covid-19 vaccinees for travel and access to various services, this is discrimination. which targets people who have not chosen to be vaccinated while the very principle of vaccination campaigns around the world is based on free will and not on coercion.
“Bahrain and Israel today reached an agreement on the mutual recognition of vaccination,” the Gulf country’s official news agency BNA said Thursday evening, adding that the agreement was reached after several weeks of talks. between the diplomacy of the two Middle Eastern countries.
As a first step, this agreement will allow people who have been vaccinated with one of the vaccines authorized by the two countries not to be quarantined. Others vaccinated with sera not authorized by either country will be taken in a “second phase” of implementation of the agreement, the agency added.