As Malta still doesn’t recognise the Canadian vaccine certificate, vaccinated Maltese-Canadians are not being let into the country without an expensive 14-day forced hotel quarantine, tearing them apart from their families
On 4th August, a Canadian physician shared his heart-wrenching story of being unable to see his Maltese girlfriend due to Malta not accepting Canadian vaccine certificates.
A day later, the Maltese Ministry for Health said they were “discussing with the Canadian Authorities to be able to recognise the Canadian vaccine certificate.”
Despite Canada’s vaccine rates, with 70% of the population vaccinated, a way higher percentage and the COVID-19 situation being better than in the US, Malta does accept vaccine certificates from the US.
On 28th August, the UK also lifted its requirements for Canadian arrivals.
More than a month later, nothing has changed. In the meantime, plenty of other Maltese-Canadians have shared their touching stories with Lovin Malta.
“A lot of us are waiting to come back”
Maltese Connie Zammit and her husband went to Canada for their first granddaughter’s wedding, right before the pandemic. They wanted to stay in Canada with their children for a few months, but COVID-19 abruptly ruined their plans.
They couldn’t leave and initially didn’t want to get the vaccine, but when they found out they would need to get it to return they decided to get the jab. They booked their flight to Malta, only to find out that Malta doesn’t recognise the Canadian vaccine certificate.
Despite having an apartment for themselves, they were initially told to pay to be quarantined in a hotel.
“A lot of us are waiting to come back,” they said. “Maybe complaining will hurry things up.”
“I just want to come back to Malta – I am a citizen and a resident”
Chris Borg, another Maltese-Canadian citizen, got trapped in Italy, wanting to return to Malta.
He couldn’t get a PCR test in Milan, as all his appointments were cancelled because of Italian holidays. “I have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer in Canada and Malta won’t accept my vaccine certificates.”
“I just want to come back to Malta. I am a citizen and resident, but they will not accept my vaccine.”
“My father is 87. I am very concerned”
Jackie Goodlet is a Canadian citizen with a newly obtained Maltese citizenship and passport, with family in Malta.
She wanted to visit her father, her sister’s extended family and her nieces and nephews, but it was made impossible for her as she would have to be quarantined for 14 days.
“My father is 87. I am very concerned. I am fully vaccinated.”
She had to cancel her visit of 3rd August, and as she is working full-time her visits have to be pre-planned. “If this goes on for much longer, I may not be able to come this year.”
“I was told to get a 3rd dose”
Shawn Scerri is in a similar situation. He was in Canada during the pandemic, and when the vaccine was being issued in Canada he contacted the Maltese Consulate in Toronto to get his first dose of the vaccine and the relevant certificate.
He returned to Malta after receiving his first Pfizer dose in Canada. He then contacted the COVID-19 hotline in Malta to book his second dose, when he was told his first Canadian jab wouldn’t be recognised.
“I contacted Chris Fearne and Charmaine Gauci directly and they were no help. I was told to just get a second one in Malta – which would actually be a third dose.”
“My family is in Canada and I visit often, so I need this certificate to make travel easier. I am hesitant to get a 3rd shot at this time, and I am hoping my first dose certificate from Canada will be accepted.”
“I would like to visit Canada again for Christmas, so having this certificate is necessary.”
“My parents were devastated. The first thing I do every morning is check the Ministry of Health website”
Mario Serracino Inglott was born in Malta. His family moved to Canada in 1973, but after Mario’s sister passed away in 2011 they decided to move back to Malta. Serracino Inglott stayed in Canada.
He planned to visit Malta on 5th September, and his parents were excited to find out that they would be spending time together.
However, after finding out that Malta does not recognize Canadian vaccine certificates, he had to break the news to them. “They were devastated.”
“My dad is 81-years-old with a heart condition and my mom is 77. I constantly worry about their health and it’s heart-wrenching being so far away.”
He sent an email to the COVID-19 authorities, along with his vaccine certificates. He also sent a plea email to Chris Fearne in hopes that he would get a reply – but nothing yet.
“I really don’t know what else to do at this point. One would think that being fully vaccinated and obtaining a PCR test would be considered sufficient for travel, especially when other European countries are accepting Canadian vaccine certificates.”
“The first thing I do every morning is to check the Ministry of Health website in Malta to see if anything has changed. I hope tomorrow morning is the day, because I’m running out of time.”
“We waited two years to get back to Malta to take care of our business and property”
Marco and Deborha Gove are fully vaccinated Maltese citizens, carrying legal documentation regarding their vaccination status.
Once Malta had announced they were open and we were fully vaccinated, we booked our long awaited return. We followed all the rules, and when we booked our trip to Malta we were welcomed to do so as no restrictions were in place.
“We waited two years to get back to Malta to take care of our business and property.”
However, upon arrival “there was a complete disregard for legal documents and we were quarantined for 14 days. We also must be tested once again after 11 days.”
“We are Maltese citizens returning home from Canada with an acceptable vaccination, but we are treated as if we are unvaccinated.”
“I just don’t understand the hold up!” she said.
“We are one of the most vaccinated countries in the world and yet treated as if we were not. However our neighbours to the south, who are much less vaccinated and whose COVID-19 numbers are through the roof, are allowed to travel to Malta.”
Do you think Malta should accept the Canadian vaccine certificate?