Paris rejects Covid-19 vaccine passport proposed by Netanyahu that would allow obstacle-free travel between France and Israel

The Elysée Palace has said it doesn’t support the idea of a health passport that would allow inoculated people in France and Israel to make obstacle-free round trips, claiming an EU agreement with Israel would be preferable.

“France does not intend, to date, to settle the issue bilaterally, especially as the president considers it premature,” it told BFMTV on Wednesday in response to proposals made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

“The words of Benjamin Netanyahu are only his own,” the government spokesperson said, adding that it believes the “question of a health passport must be settled at a European level.”

The president’s office said there was currently a lack of data concerning the viability of a health passport, notably as to whether vaccinated people could still be contagious. It also raised “ethical and practical questions” about the proposal. 

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Speaking to i24NEWS on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “I would like to do with Emmanuel Macron what I did with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades,” namely, discuss the creation of “health passports so that people can go back and forth [between the two countries] without obstacles.” 

France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, with more than 700,000 people qualifying for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, according to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. 

Israel signed an agreement with Greece in February to allow vaccinated people to move freely between the two countries in what was considered an important move for the Greek economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism revenue. 

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