New travel rules for holders of Maltese vaccinate certificates, which will come into force as of 17th January, have been published on the Health Ministry’s website.
No press conference or statement has been issued and no legal notice has been published but the Ministry’s website has been updated with an important notice regarding the validity of vaccine certificates issued by the Maltese authorities.
The new rules state that, as of 17th January, Maltese vaccine certificates for adults aged 18 or over will only be valid if their initial course of vaccination was administered not more than three months ago or if their booster shot was administered not more than nine months ago.
Vaccine certificates of children, who aren’t eligible for the booster shot, will be based on the “primary schedule”, ie. the initial course of vaccination as reccomended by the vaccine manufacturer.
Maltese residents returning to Malta after 17th January will be allowed an additional two-week grace period, which will expire on 1st February 2022 with respect to the validity of the vaccine certificate.
Following this date, Maltese residents who do not possess a valid vaccine certificate will be asked to quarantine for two weeks on their arrival.
However, the notice specifically refers to Maltese vaccine certificates without specifying whether the same rule will apply to foreign vaccine certificates too.
Neither does it specify what will happen once the nine-month period after the booster dose was administered has expired.
People can still only avoid quarantine when travelling from ‘red-listed’ countries; a two-week isolation period is still obligatory for travellers from ‘dark red’ countries.
On 17th January, vaccine certificates will also be obligatory to enter bars, snack bars, restaurants, każini, gyms, pools, spas, casinos, playrooms, cinemas, theatres, sporting events and other organised events.
As of that date, vaccine certificates will only be valid for three months for those who have had the second dose (or first dose for Johnson & Johnson) and nine months after the booster.
What do you make of these new rules?