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Maltese Expat Warns New Travel Rules ‘Treating His 16-Year-Old Daughter Like A Criminal’

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A Maltese man who lives in the Netherlands has decried the island’s new strict travel rules, which oblige all visitors older than 11 to present a vaccine certificate or go into quarantine for two weeks.

Brian Fenech told Lovin Malta that he and his family – his wife, his 16-year-old daughter and his two young twins – were due to travel to Malta next week to visit their families.

However, his eldest child has so far only received her first vaccine dose, which means she will either have to quarantine in a hotel by herself for two weeks or quarantine with the rest of her family.

“This situation has caused us difficulty to see my family in Malta, whom I haven’t seen for over- two years already,” Fenech said. “My parents are both vaccinated, and my daughter would have been quite happy to stay at my parents’ home, providing that my father can continue with his work-related duties.”

However, after Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci informed him that she wouldn’t be able to provide an exemption, the family was forced to cancel their flights.

“My daughter is devastated, and she feels it’s her fault we have to cancel, but I cannot allow a 16-year old girl in a hotel on her own for 14 days,” he said. “It will be irresponsible of us as her parents. We shouldn’t be put in this position. She shouldn’t be treated by the government like a criminal.”

Fenech argued that while Malta should maintain strict anti-COVID-19 rules, the current travel measures aren’t well thought through.

“I don’t want to blame the government, but there does not seem to be any common sense towards situations similar to mine. Not to mention that both my mother and father are not in the utmost health, and they are cautious.” 

“As you appreciate, mental health is hugely vital for youngsters like my daughter, as well as us, and being free to spend time with our families, is critical. I have no trouble paying for PCR tests daily if needed, but leaving her quarantined for 14 days in a hotel or having my family also quarantined does not seem appropriate.”

Do you agree with Malta’s current travel rules? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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