Malta blocks unvaccinated visitors

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Entry into the country will prohibit those visitors who are not fully vaccinated against coronavirus or Malta.

The measure will take effect on Wednesday (14/7) as announced on Friday (9/7) by Health Minister Chris Fern.

“We will be the first EU country to do this, but we need to protect our society”, the minister said in a press conference he gave.

The decision was made after the cases of Covid-19 on the small Mediterranean island double every day from Monday.

Until now, tourists could visit Malta if they were fully vaccinated or had a negative PCR test. The only exception was the British, who only crossed if they were fully vaccinated, due to the Delta variant prevailing in the United Kingdom.

Fern said the recent increase in cases was observed among visitors who, although tested negative before boarding the plane, were unvaccinated. After all, most were young people attending English-language schools. From Wednesday these schools will be closed.

The minister also said that Malta only recognizes vaccination certificates issued by the EU and Britain. The European certificate applies to those who have been fully vaccinated, tested positive or have recovered from the virus. “From Wednesday, we will recognize only that part of the EU certificate that concerns the fully vaccinated”, he underlined, as broadcast by the Athens News Agency.

Only unvaccinated children aged 5-12, who will be allowed to enter Malta if they have a negative test and are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents, will be exempt from the rule.

Malta has so far vaccinated 79% of its adult population and is trying to increase that percentage to 85%.

In June, for several days, no new cases of Covid-19 were recorded, but this week the infections increased sharply, reaching 96 today. The positivity rate also increased to 1.18 per 100 tests.

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