The Maltese authorities decided to change the validity of vaccination certificates to only three months.
The decision was announced by Malta’s official travel website, VisitMalta, which confirmed that from January 17, the validity of vaccination cards would be shortened.
This means that all Maltese citizens who received their last vaccination dose within the past three months will need to receive a booster dose in order for their vaccination permit to remain valid, TheSchengen.com reports.
It has been clarified that once the booster dose is received, the card will be valid for another nine months, indicating that everyone will be able to move freely within the country provided they have an updated vaccination certificate.
“To be considered valid, vaccination certificates issued by Maltese authorities for adults aged 18 and over must confirm that the person has received one of the following: the initial vaccination schedule with the last dose given at least three months prior, or the initial vaccination schedule and booster With the last dose of the booster taken no more than nine months prior, Malta International Airport wrote.
The EU authorities have strongly criticized Malta’s decision to shorten the validity of vaccination cards. An EU spokesperson said the Maltese authorities should impose less stringent rules similar to those imposed by other member states.
In addition, the decision was criticized by Malta International Airport. The airport called on the country’s authorities to reconsider the new rules.
It remains to be announced how the new rules will affect travelers from other countries arriving in Malta.
Aside from making changes to the vaccination card, Malta also announced that from January 17, only vaccinated people will be allowed into bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms, theaters and other events, among others.
Unvaccinated persons will be denied entry to the majority of events and activities. Organizers of events and other facilities that allow entry to people who do not meet vaccination requirements risk being fined.
“Any person who operates any institution or organizes any activity and grants access to any person who does not possess a valid certificate of recognized vaccination is liable upon conviction to pay a fine of five hundred euros (€500) in every case where this is violated,” the Maltese authorities stressed. regulations.
Previously, the European Union Commission adopted new rules regarding the validity of vaccination certificates. The new rules state that from February 1, vaccination cards must remain valid for 270 days after the second dose.
However, it is up to each member state to decide on its rules.