Just hours before it was to be put into effect on Wednesday, Malta reversed its plans to ban all travelers who have not been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus from entering the country.
However, a quarantine period will need to be observed. The length of that has not yet been announced. Travelers from countries on their “red” list must quarantine for 14 days.
This reversal was the result of pressure from the European Commission. EC officials had said that the European Union system in relation to this, which states that those who can at least show a recent negative COVID-19 test result should be allowed entry into the country, applies to all EU nations, including Malta.
Those who cannot take a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons and all children under 12 are exempt from the vaccination/quarantine requirement. However, those individuals must show a negative PCR test result associated with one that had been administered 72 hours or fewer in advance of travel.
Individuals who must quarantine will need to go to a designated hotel and pay for their stay there.
This reversal also means that visitors from the United States can in fact enter Malta from Wednesday-on. The previously approved regulations had stated that Americans would not be able to meet the vaccination requirement as CDC vaccination certificates are not accepted at the Maltese border. The only ones that are are those issued by Malta, the European Union and the United Kingdom.
What had caused the earlier plans to be announced on Friday was a five-fold increase in active COVID-19 cases in a 10-day span, culminating with that day being the fourth consecutive of cases essentially doubling. Ninety-six new cases were reported on Friday as opposed to zero on June 27. That number increased to 154 new cases on Tuesday.
However, Malta’s vaccination rate is the EU’s highest at 79% fully vaccinated and 5% partially vaccinated.
Language trips had been blamed for that positive-test increase, which also resulted in an announcement that Malta’s English-language schools, which are attended by students from throughout the world, will close from Wednesday-on.