Travelers who got vaccinated in the Republic of Cyprus are being told to get tested again at arrival terminals in other countries, with reports suggesting officials at destination airports have concerns over Cypriot vaccination cards.
According to local media, many Cypriot air passengers landing in airports in Greece and other countries were being forced to take a molecular test for the coronavirus at the airport even if they presented a vaccination card upon arrival.
Vasilis Stamataris, the chairman of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents, reportedly confirmed the situation with Philenews, saying the names of travelers on their vaccination cards were written in Greek letters, prompting foreign officials not to accept or question them as legitimate documents.
Knews understands there can be no spelling deviation on the vaccination cards compared to names printed on official travel documents, in order to avoid the possibility of error or fraud.
The names of travelers on their vaccination cards were written in Greek letters, prompting foreign officials not to accept or question them as legitimate documents
“These folks got vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine and it is already over the 14 days since the second dose, now they are being asked to have another PCR test and pay out of pocket too,” Stamataris said.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos has rejected the claims, saying there was only a technical issue that has been resolved.
But Stamataris has raised concerns over a European health certificate expected to be launched in July, suggesting that until that time, Greek and Cypriot authorities should coordinate together so that names written only in Greek on vaccination cards could be accepted.
It turned out that vaccination cards cannot be accepted if names are written in Greek letters, while acceptable certificates include those written with Latin characters such as English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The spelling of names on vax cards is then matched with travel documents, such as passports or ID cards.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the foreign ministries in Nicosia and Athens got involved in order for new guidance to be provided at airport officials in Greece.
Kathimerini also reported that the health ministry in Cyprus was expected to advise vaccination centers on the island to write names in both Roman and Greek characters.
Earlier this month, citizens also complained about the lack of use of official stickers on their vaccination cards, while criticism was also directed at barcodes associated with each vaccine vial because they were being handwritten instead of being affixed on the card.