The Minister of Health stated that from July 14th, only people with a British or European vaccination certificate can enter the country.
Malta stated that after a surge in COVID-19 cases, it will become the first European country to close its borders to people who have not yet been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Friday that from July 14th, only people with a British or European vaccination certificate will be allowed to enter, indicating that visitors from the United States and other regions will be barred from entering.
“We will be the first EU country to do this, but we need to protect our society,” Fern said at a press conference.
Malta is hailed as a successful European case for its vaccination campaign, and 79% of the adult population is currently fully vaccinated.
However, there were no new cases reported to only 28 active cases on June 27. The Mediterranean island nation reported 96 new viral infections on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases to 252.
“From Wednesday, July 14th, anyone who comes to Malta must hold a recognized vaccination certificate: Maltese certificate, British certificate or EU certificate,” Fern told reporters.
The only exception is children between the ages of 5-12 who have not been vaccinated. If they test negative and are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents, they will be allowed to enter Malta.
Previously, tourists from other countries in the European Union, the United States and some other countries could enter the country if they tested negative for the PCR coronavirus or were fully vaccinated.
Fearne said that about 90% of the cases found in Malta were unvaccinated people, and many of them can be traced back to English language schools.
So far, 9 schools have confirmed cases. Therefore, all English language schools will have to close their doors from July 14.
Unlike the rest of Europe, the surge in Malta coronavirus cases has not been attributed to Delta variant, Which is considered more contagious.
Health director Charmaine Gauci said on Friday that only 7 of the country’s 252 active cases have been identified as delta variants.
In recent weeks, Malta has been free of months of coronavirus restrictions.
“We will not change other parts of the plan at this time, but if science shows that we should do it, we will do it,” the health minister said.
To date, there have been 30,851 cases of the virus in Malta and 420 deaths have been recorded.