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Vaccine Certificate Shouldn’t Be The Only Way To Travel, Says Malta’s Hotel Lobby

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A vaccine certificate shouldn’t be the only criteria to allow people to travel this summer, warns Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association. 

The MHRA noted that such an approach would mean only people over 65 would be allowed to travel over summer, resulting in another poor season for Malta’s tourism sector. 

“The last 12 months have hit the tourism industry even harder than a tsunami,” said MHRA President Tony Zahra.

“We are hoping that there will be more companies licensed to manufacture vaccines in which case the present estimates of people vaccinated per week can be improved. Until it does, we must enable safe travel through the requirement of a negative test or the said vaccine certificate,” he continued.

Health Minister Chris Fearne and Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola both backed a proposal to introduce an EU-wide COVID-19 vaccine passport to facilitate travel across member states.

However, concerns about the travel standard have been raised with regards to the implications it has on privacy and how beneficial it will be considering the slow roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide. 

“This timeframe is even later in many other countries… The vaccine cannot arrive fast enough and whilst we had hoped that the rate of vaccination would be quicker, nevertheless we understand that there are manufacturing bottlenecks,” the MHRA continued.

Malta is expected to have vaccinated 13,275 people, 2.6% of the population, against COVID-19 by next Monday, putting it at the top of the pack in the global vaccine ‘race’, Health Minister Chris Fearne has revealed.

As it stands, the UK is leading the charge in Europe, having vaccinated 4.52% of its population. Denmark is second with 2.23%, Ireland is third with 1.57%, Italy fourth with 1.5%, and Spain fifth with 1.45%. 

Globally, Israel has surged ahead by a clear mile, having already vaccinated 24.53% of its population, while the UAE has vaccinated 15.45%. The EU average is 0.92% and the global average is 0.42%.

With both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine being distributed, Malta is expected to achieve herd immunity by summertime.

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