The Minister of Health says that only those who have a British or European vaccination certificate will have access from 14 July.
Malta has said it will be the first European country to close its borders to anyone who has not been fully vaccinated against coronavirus following an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Only those who have a British or European vaccination certificate will have access from July 14, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Friday – indicating that tourists from the US and elsewhere will be barred.
“We want to be the first EU country to do so, but we need to protect our society,”
Malta is hailed as a European success story for its vaccination campaign, with 79 percent of the adult population currently fully vaccinated.
However, from reporting no new cases and only 28 active cases on 27 June, the Mediterranean island reported 96 new viral infections on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases to 252.
“From Wednesday 14 July, anyone coming to Malta must be in possession of a recognized vaccination certificate: a Maltese certificate, a British certificate or an EU certificate,” Fearne told reporters.
The only exception is unvaccinated children aged 5-12 years who are allowed to travel to Malta if they have a negative test and are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents.
In the past, visitors from the rest of the EU, the US and some other countries were admitted if they showed a negative PCR coronavirus test or if they were fully vaccinated.
Fearne said about 90 per cent of cases found in Malta are among unvaccinated people and that many have been traced to English-language schools.
Cases have been confirmed at nine schools so far, and as a result, all English-language schools will have to close their doors from 14 July.
Unlike other areas in Europe, the increase in the case of coronavirus in Malta has not been reduced to the Delta variant, which is thought to be more contagious.
Health chief Charmaine Gauci said Friday that only seven of the country’s 252 active cases were identified as the Delta variant.
Malta has in recent weeks come from months of coronavirus restrictions.
“We are not changing other parts of our plan for now, but we will do so if science suggests we should,” the health minister said.
Malta has so far had 30,851 cases of the virus and registers 420 deaths.