A Polish woman who was fully vaccinated in Malta months ago has spoken up about the difficulties she is encountering to obtain a vaccine certificate.
Ana* has been living in Malta for around a year and has a Maltese boyfriend. A few months ago, she got vaccinated against COVID-19, part of a prioritised cohort because she used to work at a private medical clinic.
However, she told Lovin Malta that she’s been unable to obtain her vaccination certificate which would allow her to travel to Poland and return home without needing to quarantine for two weeks.
This is because the system isn’t accepting her Polish ID card as proof of identity and is asking her for Maltese documentation, which she never got because – as an EU citizen – it wasn’t necessary for her to work in Malta.
She said she’s been trying to find a solution since the end of May but is still in the dark.
“I’ve contacted so many offices. I recently visited a service.gov branch but they told me that unfortunately I need a Maltese ID. I contacted the vaccination team at Mater Dei and they told me to send a scan of my vaccine card and my personal details, but it’s been a few days now and haven’t got a response.”
“Whenever I send emails or call departments, they either don’t reply or tell me to send my details but then nothing happens. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve sent my personal details to.”
Ana said she urgently needs to travel to Poland next week to sort out an important family matter and is seriously considering getting vaccinated again while she’s there so that she can obtain a certificate and return to Malta without having to quarantine.
However, she’s concerned about the risks such a move will entail.
“Malta is once again breaching international laws,” she warned. “As a patient I have all rights to receive my personal medical documentation. I have tax residency and I pay my taxes here. This is the third European country I’ve lived in besides Poland and this is the first time the authorities haven’t recognised my ID.”
“I cannot further express my disappointment about how this whole procedure is being handled by the Maltese government.”
Ana is not the only EU expat facing bureaucratic problems to obtain their vaccine certificate.
Karl*, an Austrian national, told Lovin Malta that he received his second vaccine dose at the start of June but was unable to download his certificate.
After weeks of failed attempts, he emailed a COVID-19 authority and received his certificate but with two mistakes – a typo in his name and the date of his second dose wrongly listed as the date the certificate was actually issued.
Karl plans to travel to Austria next week but is concerned that the Maltese and Austrian authorities may not recognise this certificate as valid.
“It’s outrageous that the government is still unable to issue correct vaccine certificates in a useful time, whilst making those certificates a requirement to avoid quarantine upon re-entry of the country,” he said.
Lovin Malta has sent questions to the Health Ministry to clarify what these people should do.
* Names have been changed to protect their identity