MANAMA: Bahrain and Israel have signed an agreement to recognize each other’s COVID-19 vaccinations in a bid to smoothe travel between the two countries which normalized ties last year.
“The governments of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel today reached an agreement regarding mutual recognition of vaccination and green passports,” Bahrain News Agency reported.
Bahrain and Israel both have inoculation rates that are among the highest in the world, according to German data agency Statista.
Under the agreement, people who have been inoculated in one country with “vaccinations recognized in the other country will be exempt from quarantine and be able to enter places that require a ‘green passport’,” BNA said.
Israel has eased many of its coronavirus restrictions but various measures remain in place.
, including a “green passport” system that grants access to certain sites only to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.
The Bahraini report said arrangements would be made at a later stage for individuals who have been inoculated with a vaccine other than those recognized by one of the two countries, without providing start dates for the arrangements.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi tweeted that the deal would “increase tourism and boost our economies and help our common fight against the coronavirus.”
Last September, Bahrain signed a US-brokered agreement normalizing ties with Israel, in a break with decades of Arab consensus against doing so without a comprehensive peace deal.
Over five million Israelis, or more than half of its nine million population, have received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to Israeli health ministry figures.
More than half a million people in Bahrain, or nearly half the population, have received both doses of various vaccines, according to official figures.
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