Malta’s new travel ban on unvaccinated visitors has been denounced as discriminatory by the European Commission.
Addressing a press briefing today, EC spokesperson Christian Wigand said that while member states have a right to introduce restrictions to safeguard public health, any measures that restrict free movement must be proportionate and non-discriminatory.
“A vaccination certificate cannot be a precondition for the exercise of free movement, this is a main principle of the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate regulation.”
“We have concerns that the measures could discriminate against people who are not fully vaccinated and we have made contact with Malta and asked for explanation of the measures. We’ll raise this issue in a member states coordination meeting (IPCR).”
Malta’s travel ban on non-vaccinated people is set to come into force on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Robert Abela insisting it was a “tough but necessary” measure to send out a strong message that the vaccine is the solution to the pandemic and to safeguard the rest of the economy.
Exceptions will be given to people who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and are granted an exemption by the Superintendence of Public Health, children aged between 5 and 12 who can’t yet get vaccinated and Maltese residents who travelled before the new rules were announced. These people will need to present a negative PCR test.