A fully-vaccinated man with a private residence in Malta who briefly left the country to attend his mother’s funeral is facing a €1,400 bill after being forced into one of the country’s controversial quarantine hotels.
The man, who is a Pakistani national, left the country a couple of months ago after receiving news that his mother was fatally ill. He had not yet received the jab in Malta but was forced to leave in order to be close to the family.
He had not been home in four years and being by his mother’s side in her last moments was of the utmost priority.
Still, he was able to get fully vaccinated back in his home country, receiving the Moderna vaccine, which is recognised in Malta. However, the country is yet to recognise Pakistan’s vaccine certificate, forcing the man into mandatory quarantine, as per rules of dark red-listed countries.
He understood the risk and accepted the rules, even forking out an extra month’s rent before leaving to ensure that he had a place to quarantine upon his return.
But that wasn’t enough for Maltese authorities, who rejected his request to quarantine inside his residence, where he lives alone, and forced him into a hotel.
Now, he’s facing a €1,400 bill, something which he simply cannot afford following the journey to and from his home country, and the money he forked out for rent before leaving.
Meanwhile, he’s claimed that he’s even being asked to pay for water while the breakfast provided is reportedly well below adequate.
There are also claims that he’s hearing people in other rooms begging their families to send over money so they can leave the hotel.
The hotel has even asked to keep the man’s credit card, something he outright refuses amid this precarious situation.
On 15th September, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said that Malta would end its blanket rule obliging residents from ‘dark red’ countries, just two days after a judicial protest concerning the issue was filed. However, it seems that certain residents, particularly third-country nationals, are being treated differently.
Lovin Malta has revealed how many of the hotels are actually charging well-above market value for their quarantined residents
When asked about the total amount of money charged for quarantine in one of those hotels, the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) said they cover the cost “for the occupancy of the hotels in full, from which the amount paid by guests is deducted”.
MTA did not reply to questions sent by Lovin Malta as to how they determined the daily fee for the hotels.
PN leader Bernard Grech has suggested that those who were subject to the rule should be refunded.
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