Malta Bans Unvaccinated Visitors

The Maltese government announced on Friday that it will ban all travelers from entering the European country starting on July 14 unless they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We will be the first EU country to do so, but we need to protect our society,” Health Minister Chris Fearne said in a press briefing on Friday.

According to Fearne, the decision has been made after Malta witnessed an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases every day since Monday.

He said the sudden surge in newly infected people includes those visitors who, while having produced a negative PRC test before traveling to Malta, were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

The Maltese health minister said the majority of the newly infected individuals were young people attending English language schools in the country. Such schools will be temporarily closed starting Wednesday.

Fearne said Malta will only acknowledge vaccination certificates issued by the European Union and the UK, adding that the bloc’s so-called “green certificates” currently certify individuals who are fully vaccinated, or who test positive or have recovered from the virus.

“From Wednesday we will only recognize that part of the EU certificate about people being fully vaccinated,” he said.

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