Malta is yet to record a single case of the new variant of COVID-19 vaccine that has emerged in the United Kingdom, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne has revealed.
Speaking in a press conference where he announced the EU had approved the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine for use, Fearne explained that until more information on the new variant is made clear, travel to and from the UK would remain closed.
Malta closed all travel earlier today. However, Fearne was clear that Maltese citizens and residents will still be able to return to the country over the coming days and weeks. He said that special flights will be set up.
Fearne said that arrivals will need to take a PCR test before and after arrival. People arriving will still need to quarantine for two weeks, even if they have negative results. He said that the tests can detect the new variant of the virus.
On the new variant itself, Fearne explained that it was not stronger, but rather was far more transmissible. He said that there had been many variants since the pandemic started.
Fearne urged continued vigilance for the time being.
Malta is set to receive 10,000 doses of the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine this weekend. A Mater Dei nurse will be the first recipient of the vaccine.
This weekend’s batch will go towards frontliners and residents in crucial hospitals and care homes.
The country will receive a fresh batch of vaccinations every Monday until the entire nation is inoculated.
Malta will receive a total of 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines including BioNTech-Pfizer and five other jabs secured by the EU, like the Moderna vaccine.
From 1st January, everyone over 85 will receive a letter detailing the date, time, and location of their appointment. The letter will include detailed information on the vaccine.
From there, everyone over 80 and all other front-liners and the third batch will include everyone suffering from chronic illnesses, everyone over 70 and school and childcare centre workers.
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