As soon as a worrying new type of coronavirus was discovered in the continent of Africa, the Maltese authorities decided to ban travel to and from six countries in South Africa.
According to a press release from Malta’s official travel portal, VisitMalta, arrivals from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be temporarily banned from Saturday midnight.
In addition, in order to avoid further spread of the new variant, the government has also prohibited the citizens of Malta from taking any trips to these affected areas.
“Travel to and from areas with known cases of the new Covid19 variant B.1.1.529 will be temporarily banned from Malta from midnight Saturday. Currently, this includes South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe,” the Maltese authorities said in a statement. .
The authorities did not reveal how long the ban would remain in effect. However, it is believed that arrivals from these countries will not be allowed into Malta until their epidemiological situation improves, TheSchengen.com reports.
Data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) coronavirus dashboard shows that South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe have reported the highest infection rates over the past seven days.
South Africa has reported 23,121 new cases of coronavirus in the past seven days. During the same period, Botswana reported 523 new cases, and Zimbabwe reported 190 new cases.
On the other hand, the remaining three countries reported lower numbers of infections. In the past 168 hours, Namibia identified 57 new cases of COVID-19, followed by Eswatini with 22 new cases, and Lesotho with 16 new cases.
Malta currently has strict entry rules against all countries. Entry restrictions into Malta are generally applied based on the traveler’s home country.
Currently, Malta only allows entry to people with a vaccination certificate indicating full immunization with a European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved vaccine.
Mixed vaccine doses are also recognized provided the required time frame is met between the first and last dose.
However, Malta does not accept certificates of vaccination issued in every country, which means that only those with pass permits issued by certain countries can enter its territory.
>> Traveling to Malta amid COVID-19: Rules and Restrictions Explained
In addition, everyone should note that certificates proving recovery from the virus and negative COVID-19 test results are not accepted.
Except for the vaccination certificate requirements, every passenger who is allowed to enter Malta must present the General Health Travel Authorization and Passenger Locator Form.
Similar to Malta, the French authorities have decided to suspend flights from seven countries in South Africa. The ban will be in effect for a minimum of 48 hours.
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