Malta adds red tape for UK travellers with paper vaccine certificate demands

Malta adds red tape for UK travellers with paper vaccine certificate demands
‘Only the paper version of the NHS Covid vaccination letter will be accepted,’ says Maltese government

Vaccinated travellers heading for the newest full member of the UK’s “green list” could be turned away because of red tape.

At 4am on Wednesday, Malta became the only unconditional new member to achieve green status, meaning British visitors need not self-isolate on their return home.

But on the same day, the Mediterranean nation has placed the UK on its red list because of soaring coronavirus case levels and the presence of the Delta variant.

While vaccinated adults and accompanying children under 12 will be able to travel, Malta now insists only one specific form of proof is acceptable: “The paper version of the NHS Covid vaccination letter.”

Neither the digital app version nor a printed version from it will be accepted for entry.

The office of the deputy prime minister of Malta says: “From 30 June 2021, all arrivals from the UK need to present proof of full vaccination (two doses).

“Only the paper version of the NHS Covid vaccination letter, with subject ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination confirmation: two doses received’, will be accepted, not the digital app version, nor a printout from the digital app.”

The announcement adds that children under 12 can accompany vaccinated parents, though those aged between five and 11 must present a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours before arrival.

The medical authorities in the four UK nations will supply the “NHS Covid Pass letter,” but they take different approaches.

In England, the printed document can be requested online and posted to the address registered with the traveller’s GP.

“You can call 119 to get a letter sent to you if you cannot get a letter online,” the NHS in England says.

For Wales, the NHS Covid Pass letter is available by calling 0300 303 5667 between 9am and 5pm

In Scotland, prospective travellers can request a copy online or call the Covid-19 Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565, daily from 10am to 6pm.

“Your records will also be sent by first class post,” the Scottish NHS says. “Make sure you allow plenty of time for your record to arrive before you travel.”

Travellers in Northern Ireland hoping to reach Malta imminently are likely to have to postpone their plans. On the government site NI Direct, they are told: “In Northern Ireland, work has now started on a certificate production system, which will give you internationally accepted proof that you have had both vaccine doses.

“This will initially be a paper-based format and will be available here by early to mid-July.”

Besides Malta, a handful of other destinations have been given quarantine-free status, notably Spain’s Balearic Islands, Madeira, Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada and the British Virgin Islands. But they are on the so-called “green watchlist,” meaning quarantine could be reimposed at short notice.


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