Malta Abandons Plan to Restrict Unvaccinated Travellers From Entry
Malta has abandoned its plan to close its borders to travellers that have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, the Maltese government announced that from 14 July, all travellers would have to prove they had been vaccinated. A new notice on 13 July states that instead of barring unvaccinated travellers, arrivals in Malta would face an undisclosed period of quarantine. The compulsory self-isolation period for those arriving from countries certified as “red” is already 14 days.
The compromise comes hours before the new restrictions were due to come into force and follows criticism from the European Commission that they were discriminatory.
Binding Health Pass
The European Commission had criticised the ban, pointing out that the health pass system adopted by the EU, the EU Digital COVID Certificate, was binding on member states.
It had appeared that the announcement last week, shut the door completely on tourists from the United States and other nationalities by saying that “anyone arriving in Malta must present a recognized vaccination certificate: a Maltese certificate, a British certificate or a certificate of the European Union”.
The new notice of quarantining unvaccinated travellers, which comes into force on 14 July, includes many other nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan. For an updated list, check out Malta’s official website.
The small Mediterranean island of 500,000 boasts of being the most vaccinated country in the EU, with 79% of the adult population having received two doses.
Entry to Malta
Upon arrival, all travellers to Malta need to present a passenger locator form and COVID-19 vaccination certificate recognised by the local authorities. Children below the age of 12 will be permitted to accompany their parents who are vaccinated if they provide a negative nasopharyngeal COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. Children below the age of 5 do not need to be tested.
The following are the recognised vaccine certificates:
- Maltese Vaccination Certificates
- EU Digital COVID Certificate
- the UK’s NHS vaccine certificates
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