Updated vaccine entry regulations for UK travellers and new Malta digital passenger locator form.
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Hey my lovelies!
Just thought I would drop a quick update regarding the revised vaccine requirements for our holidays to #Malta.
As always this information applies to all arrivals from the UK.
Devastatingly the Maltese government have ruled that entry will not be allowed to the 5 million of us who have received at least one dose of the #AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as they are are not yet authorised by the European Medicines Agency.
The batches affected are,
4120Z001, 4120Z002, 412Z003.
You can find your batch number by checking your paper NHS COVID Pass Certificate or inside the NHS App.
Confusingly a statement made by the UK Department of Health and Social Security advised "that no Covishield vaccines had been administered in the UK." It insisted that all AstraZeneca vaccines are manufactured under the brand name Vaxzevria, both in the UK and India.
The question in my mind remains, is Vaxzevria really Covishield??
Seeking clarity, I contacted the #COVID-19 Helpline at the Department for Health Regulations in Valletta, and they have advised entry will be barred to anyone with a
"Vaccination Certificate showing AstraZeneca batch numbers 4120Z001/4120Z002/4120Z003 since not yet EMA approved"
Therefore #Malta has basically applied a blanket ban on anyone who holds any of the above batch numbers.
Vaxzevria is a European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorised vaccine, however Covishield isn't. While there is no suggestion the Covishield vaccine is inferior, the manufacturer has yet to apply for EU authorisation.
The EMA confirmed that it has authorised the Vaxzevria vaccine, but added: “EMA is not responsible for any decision regarding travelling into the EU and travelling conditions associated with Covid-19 vaccination, such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. This is a matter for the European Commission and for individual Member States.”
It's clear as mud!
The UK foreign office are said to be clarifying with the Maltese authorities why these batches have been deemed not valid for entry.
Plus there is a meeting of the EMA on the 22nd of July, so let's all keep our fingers crossed they can provide us with an update.
Until then for the 5m of us affected it's,
Following soon after was the announcement by Health Minister Chris Fearne that due to a recent increase in imported cases across the islands, only FULLY VACCINATED adults and children aged 12 and over will be allowed entry from the 14th of July.
Children from 5 years of age to 11 years of age, can travel, by presenting a negative PCR test, which has to be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Malta, and given that they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians, who in turn have to present the recognised vaccine certificate.
“We will be the first country in Europe to take this step,” he said. "We are not changing other parts of our reopening plan for now, but we will do so if the science suggests we should do so."
The full entry regulations are below, but as ever, everything is subject to imminent change, so please do remain watchful of the Foreign Office entry advice for Malta as well as the Covid-19 update page at Visit Malta.
For those who are able to travel, there is now also a digital passenger locator form for arrival in Malta. The recommendation is to complete this online and take a printed copy of the email confirmation you receive. If you have the original paper form this is still being accepted for the moment too.
A separate form must be completed for every person visiting Malta, including children, even when travelling as part of a group or family.
That's all the updates for now folks, until next time, take care and stay safe