Prime Minister Robert Abela has confirmed that the European Commission has already criticised Malta over its upcoming draconian ban on non-vaccinated people from travelling to the island but insisted this decision was “necessary”.
“We are the first EU member state to restrict travel to non-vaccinated people and we had the courage to take this decision,” Abela said when interviewed on PL media house ONE this morning. “Will we be criticised for this? I’m not revealing any secrets here but we have already been criticised by the European Commission. However we had the courage to take this decision.”
To back up his argument, the Prime Minister noted that Malta currently only allows visitors who present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, and not people who recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months – despite this last criterion being included on the EU ‘vaccine passport’.
“We were already more restrictive than the others and now we will be even more restrictive,” he said, adding that it was a “tough but necessary” decision to send out a strong message that the vaccine is the solution to the pandemic and safeguard the rest of the economy.
In his interview today, Abela came out strongly against people who choose not to get vaccinated for non-medical reasons.
“Around 80% of our people are vaccinated, but there is no reason for the other 20% not to get vaccinated except in exceptional cases. Pope Francis said that people have a moral obligation to get vaccinated and I say people have a civic obligation to take it.”
“So long as that 20% remain non-vaccinated, the reality is we will keep on extending the period until we return to normality. The pandemic will probably end when the whole world is vaccinated.”
He therefore urged employers to “convince” their non-vaccinated employees to get vaccinated, employees to do likewise to their non-vaccinated employers, and parents to inoculate their children.
“If the health and science authorities are saying that children older than 12 should take the vaccine, then let’s follow this advice,” he insisted. “If the age limit goes down, I will be the first to vaccinate my daughter out of a sense of responsibility to safeguard her health.”
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