Malta bans all visitors who are not fully vaccinated against COVID Coronavirus pandemic news


The Health Minister says only those with a British or European vaccination certificate will be allowed entry from 14 July.

Malta has said it will be the first European country to close its borders to anyone who has not been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, following an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Only people with a British or European vaccination certificate will be allowed access from July 14, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Friday, suggesting that tourists from the United States and others be banned. places.

“We will be the first EU country to do that, but we need to protect our society,” Fearne said at a news conference.

Malta has been hailed as a European success story for its vaccination campaign, with 79% of the adult population currently vaccinated.

But, following the notification of new cases and having only 28 active cases on June 27, the Mediterranean island nation reported 96 new virus infections on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases to 252.

“As of Wednesday 14 July, anyone coming to Malta must have a recognized vaccination certificate: a Maltese certificate, a British certificate or a European Union certificate,” Fearne told reporters.

The only exception will be children without vaccines between the ages of 5 and 12, who will be allowed to enter Malta if they have a negative test and are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents.

Previously, visitors from the rest of the EU, the US and some other countries were allowed to enter if they presented with a negative PCR coronavirus test or if they were completely vaccinated.

Fearne said about 90 per cent of the cases found in Malta belong to unvaccinated people and that many have been tracked in English language schools.

So far cases have been confirmed in nine schools and as a result, all English language schools will have to close their doors from 14 July.

People sit in an open-air restaurant as restaurants and markets reopen their businesses after COVID-19 vaccines reached 60% of the adult population in May [File: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters]

Unlike other European areas, the rise in coronavirus cases in Malta has not been reduced to the Delta variant, which is thought to be more contagious.

Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said Friday that only seven of the country’s 252 active cases were identified as a Delta variant.

Malta has emerged in recent weeks from months of coronavirus restrictions.

“We are not changing other parts of our plan for now, but we will do it if science suggests we should do it,” the Health Minister said.

So far, Malta has had 30,851 cases of the virus, registering 420 deaths.

People come out of a vaccination center at the University of Malta [File: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters]

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