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Malta to Ease National COVID-19 Restrictions

Malta’s health minister, Chris Fern, revealed on Tuesday that the country will ease some COVID-19 restrictions.

The minister announced that vaccination certificates will no longer be required for access to snack bars, restaurants and social clubs, effective February 7, reports.

In addition, the same order revealed that from February 14, just one week after the lifting of the requirement to obtain a vaccination permit to enter the aforementioned venue, the concessional rules will also apply to those who wish to enter cinemas, theaters, indoor swimming pools and spas, and gyms.

This means that once the relaxed restrictions come into effect, people who wish to enter cinemas, theaters, indoor swimming pools, spas and gyms will not be required to show a vaccination card.

The minister explained that the state decided to facilitate the national restrictions on the Corona virus, as the number of active infections as well as hospitalizations decreased significantly.

In addition, he noted that the number of citizens who had already received a booster potion had also increased, indicating that strict rules no longer needed to be enforced.

According to data provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 67.7 percent of the total adult population in Malta has already received an extra dose.

In contrast, 94.3 percent received only one dose of the vaccine, while 93.1 percent completed the initial vaccination with two doses of the vaccine.

Regarding infection rates, WHO figures show that Malta has reported 2017 new cases of infection in the past seven days.

Apart from the aforementioned, the minister also revealed that Malta plans to shorten the quarantine requirement from ten to seven days for close contacts of infected people. Verne said it was still too early to talk about the rule while noting that it could be shortened in the second half of February.

Previously, the Maltese authorities changed the validity of vaccination certificates to just three months. This means that all people who received the last dose of the vaccine within the past three months need to receive a booster shot for the vaccination to remain in effect.

Once you have the booster vaccine, your vaccination certificate will be valid for another nine months.

ACI Europe has strongly criticized Malta’s decision to shorten the validity of vaccination certificates. ACI Europe urged the European Commission to investigate Malta, as it said the Maltese authorities had violated EU travel rules.

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