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Travellers Land In Malta To Find Hour-Long Queues That Are Difficult To Socially Distance In

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Travellers arriving in Malta today were surprised and concerned at the amount of people they were forced to wait near as authorities worked their way through a number of checks at the airport.

One traveller who arrived in Malta from Italy, Yuliia Shebeko, couldn’t understand why she was being told to keep social distancing while surrounded by waiting people.

“In the airport we had to submit paper forms regards COVID-19, and waited an hour in queue  along with hundreds of other people in the baggage claim area as our COVID-19 documents were being checked,” she told Lovin Malta.

“This is ridiculous – the forms are online everywhere else. And the social distancing rules do not make any sense, not when all tourists spend one hour in a queue like this.”

Aside from this, she said she spent over an hour waiting for a health check.

Malta’s airports have had to deal with an influx of tourists recently, with logistical issues making social distancing practically impossible. 

However, it is public health authorities, and not airport authorities, who are in charge of processing COVID-19 tests and vaccine certificates at the airport.

Just this week, Malta started recognising vaccine certificates issued by EU member states and the UK.

“However, Malta International Airport still expects to see several passengers arriving in Malta with missing or paper-based documents, necessitating manual verification by public health representatives,” airport officials said.

“In light of this, the airport would like to appeal to prospective travellers for their cooperation by presenting and submitting the required entry documents digitally whenever possible.”

Photos: Yuliia Shebeko

Have you encountered anything like this at the airport?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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