News of Malta’s harsh travel ban on non-vaccinated visitors has started to spread internationally, with an association representing British travel agents expressing its hope that other countries won’t follow the island’s lead.
“It is rather confusing for customers because as well as our own requirements there are [other] countries themselves and their views,” a spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
However, it said it was hopeful Malta’s decision will be a one-off.
“Nobody’s got a crystal ball but countries such as Spain and Greece are very keen on letting British holidaymakers back,” the spokesperson said.
“Generally, throughout Europe, they are very keen to welcome back British holidaymakers, particularly if they’ve been double vaccinated.”
Following a surge in COVID-19 cases, Malta announced on Friday that it will ban travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated from travelling to the island as of 14th July.
It has become the first EU member state to take this decision, and Prime Minister Robert Abela confirmed today that the European Commission has criticised this stance.
Exceptions will be given to people who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and are granted an exemption by the Superintendence of Public Health, Maltese residents who travelled overseas before the new rules were announced and children aged between 5 and 12, who can’t yet get vaccinated in Malta.
Seeing as the UK isn’t vaccinating minors, Malta’s move has essentially banned all 12-17-year-olds from visiting.