Although she has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Maltese citizen and Scotland resident Adriana Brincat Scicluna is facing a bureaucratic nightmare in her attempt to return to her home country to visit her mother for her 70th birthday.
And after going from one government department to another to no avail, she has now directly asked Prime Minister Robert Abela to intervene.
The problem both Adriana and her partner Russell face stems from the fact that they received their two vaccine doses in two different countries – Malta and Scotland.
After receiving their first Moderna dose in Scotland last June, they travelled to Malta for their summer holidays, where they also received their second dose.
Adriana told Lovin Malta that their logic behind this decision was threefold – their Malta trip coincided with their recommended time period to get the second dose, they wanted vaccination protection as soon as possible, and they wanted their parents to be on hand to help in case the vaccine made them feel unwell.
“We knew that our vaccination in Malta was registered as our first Maltese dose, but we assumed that we would be issued with a certificate to show for our one dose – as is done in Scotland – and as the European Commission states should be produced by EU member states.”
However, their attempts to obtain valid vaccination certificates have hit a brick wall.
While Scotland has updated their health records, they haven’t updated their vaccination statuses as Malta only issues QR codes following the administration of the second dose.
And although Scotland issues QR codes for both first and second doses, Malta refuses to recognise their Scottish dose as their first dose, even though it recognises the same Scottish vaccine certificate when it lists two doses.
Adriana and Russell have therefore been told that they will have to quarantine if they visit Malta, and their only way out at this stage would be to get a third vaccine shot, either in Scotland or Malta.
The entire situation has left Adriana feeling extremely bewildered, unable to understand why Malta won’t recognise her Scottish vaccine, even though it contains a QR code that is recognised by the health authorities.
“They’re keeping families apart for bureaucratic reasons,” she warned.
In a last-ditch attempt to sort her situation out, she has written to Abela for help.
“We have already written to [Superintendent of Public Health] Dr Charmaine Gauci’s office but this got immediately forwarded on and we were simply told that this is not the policy right now,” she wrote.
“I am writing in the hope that you can kindly intervene and resolve this situation in order to make it possible for us to come to Malta and be with our families this coming Thursday, after having missed out on them for way too long when this was necessary over the past 18 months.”
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