The government has backtracked on its earlier position to ban travellers that have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, and will now make incoming passengers without a vaccine pass quarantine for 14 days instead.
The move comes one day after the European Commission raised concerns that a ban on non-vaccinated travellers entering Malta could be discriminatory. European Commission spokesperson Christian Wigand said in a press briefing that any COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place must be “proportionate and non-discriminatory”.
A legal notice published in the government gazette late on Tuesday reflects the amended position, stipulating that persons who arrive in Malta from any of the countries listed in the notice without being in possession of a vaccination certificate shall be required to submit themselves to a period of mandatory quarantine which lasts 14 days. Further, children aged between 5 and 12 will need to present a negative PCR test, whilst children under the age of 5 will be exempt from this obligation. Anyone arriving in Malta must present a recognised vaccination certificate: a Maltese certificate, a British certificate or a certificate of the European Union or otherwise be subjected to mandatory quarantine. This meant that the previous rules which were set to come into force would have shut the door completely on tourists from places like the United States and other nationalities which do not issue certificates that are validly recognised by Malta.
The new notice published on Tuesday, which comes into force on Wednesday, however, includes many other nations, including the United States and Japan.
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