A fully vaccinated Maltese man is scared he may end up losing his job because the health authorities don’t recognise his vaccine certificate.
Dan* used to live and work in Singapore and got inoculated there with the Pfizer vaccine, which has been authorised by the European Medicines Agency.
He recently moved back to Malta and is now working in a job that requires him to take regular business trips overseas.
The snag is that Malta only allows quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people who can present certificates that are recognised by the Maltese health authorities.
Besides EU COVID-19 certificates, the list also includes certificates issued by Albania, Australia, Qatar, Dubai, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, Turkey, Serbia, the USA, and the UK.
Singapore is not on the list, which means that when Dan travels abroad, he will have to quarantine for two weeks upon his return to Malta, which is clearly not feasible in the long-term.
Dan tried reaching out to the Office of the Superintendence of Public Health but was merely told that a vaccine certificate cannot be issued for vaccines that were taken abroad.
He asked them again what options are available for him that would allow him to travel to Italy and Spain for work and return to Malta without having to quarantine.
“Should I take the vaccine again in Malta?” he asked. “I look forward to your instructions. Without urgent help I will lose my job.”
However, he was merely told that the issue is “beyond their control”.
“We cannot generate the vaccine certificate in Malta to all those persons who received their vaccine abroad. They are not on our system and we cannot enter them on our system either,” they told him. “Everybody has to abide by the laws and the protocols.”
Dan told Lovin Malta that he’s been left confused and frustrated at the situation, unable to see the logic or the science behind it.
“It is not reasonable for me to quarantine when I am fully vaccinated like other Maltese nationals, nor is it medically safe for me to re-take the vaccine,” he said. “Therefore I am in limbo and being discriminated and denied freedom to travel.”
“My income is highly dependent on being able to travel and I have a young family to support.”
Malta’s strict travel rules have come under the microscope in recent months, with a recent parliamentary petition demanding an end to Maltese residents travelling back from dark red countries being forced to quarantine inside government-sanctioned hotels.
*His surname has been left out to safeguard his anonymity