“The newly approved green passports for travel inside the EU, which Brussels is trying to thrust upon us, is a blow below the belt to Bulgarian tourism. With this restriction, the doors to Russian tourists will be closed, Prof. Rumen Draganov,head of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism, said for This Morning talk show on bTV.

“Just because you’ve been vaccinated doesn’t mean you’re not a virus carrier. Israel ranks first in both vaccinated and fatalities,” he added.

To be a holder of a green passport, the tourist must have been vaccinated against coronavirus or have antibodies after falling ill in the last six months. The other option is to present a negative test result. The green passport is expected to take effect from the beginning of the summer and be valid until the WHO announces an end of the pandemic, explained the correspondent of bTV in Brussels Desislava Mincheva.

“Countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic that use vaccines not approved for use in EU can enter them on a certificate, but if Germany does not want to admit people immunized with such vaccines, its authorities may deny access. We are faced with the paradox of allowing a citizen to enter one EU country but being denied access to another,” she added.

The European Commission leaves Member States the freedom to decide who has the right to enter their territory, Mincheva pointed out.

“The digital green certificate may be issued by laboratories that make tests or by hospitals where vaccinations are made. Important in this document is the seal. If results of PCR tests or vaccination documents could have been falsified so far, now through the new portal this can no longer happen,” she said.

“For years we have struggled to have an electronic visa, and the EU has been explaining to us how difficult this would be before 2028, because in every small settlement local authorities have to be able to rely on it. Now they can rely on green passports, but not the visa,” Prof. Draganov said.

“From a medical point of view, what they offer from Brussels is not logical. Those in the European Commission should be ashamed of what they are doing because personal data about the health status is very sensitive and they are made available to everyone”, said Dr. Stoycho Katsarov from the Center for Public Health Protection.

“If we insist on a green passport for coronavirus, why don’t we want one for measles or tuberculosis? Why do I need a passport to go to Thessaloniki, but don’t need a vaccination certificate to visit Burgas? It turns out that citizens of Burgas may not be safeguarded from me, but the people of Thessaloniki must be protected. What are we supposed to do? Let’s label people so they can recognize as dangerous and not let us into the hotel?”” he asked.

“Free movement is at the heart of the EU Treaty. The solution is to provide vaccines for the entire population and remove all restrictions. There is no need WHO to tell us when to do it,” Dr Katsarov said.

“Our neighbors introduce green lanes and passports. We’re going to lose a competitive advantage over them if we’re do not follow this trend,” Prof. Draganov said for his part.

“The European Commission says that the EU’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of the population by July and do away with the epidemic. At the same time, they say that by the summer they should give visas. What do we need them for if they vaccinate the population? Ensure vaccines for everyone! Whoever wants to be immunized let them do it. All restrictions must be lifted. This is required by the European Commission,” he said.