Malta’s Covid-19 vaccine certificate will become available from tomorrow – Tuesday 1 June – Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Monday.
People will be able to apply for their vaccine certificate from certifikatvaccine.gov.mt and the certificate will be available for download from 1 June.
The certificate will be used to facilitate travel, visits to the elderly, and the restart of certain social and cultural events.
Abela said that those who hold the certificate will not need to do a PCR test when entering Malta from abroad, while those who do not will have to do such a test before boarding their flight.
Health Minister Chris Fearne said that health authorities will be providing a list of countries where Maltese people can travel to and return to Malta from with the vaccine certificate – a list which will also include some countries which are currently on the country’s red list.
This list will be updated every week.
Holders of the certificate will also be allowed to visit their elderly relatives in care home as normal, and will also in the near future be allowed to go out of the home with them.
The certificates, Abela said, will also be used to facilitate that organisation of certain social and cultural activities as well.
Abela said that Malta will be the first to introduce such a system, and noted that it will join up with the European Union vaccine passport system which will be introduced in the coming weeks.
All those who have received both doses of the vaccine, and where 14 days have elapsed since the last dose of the vaccine are eligible to apply for the certificate, Health Minister Chris Fearne explained.
He said that one simply has to register using their e-ID account and enter the date of the last dose of their vaccine into the system. For those who do not have an e-ID account, they need to insert their ID card number, the number on the back of their ID card, their date of birth, and the date of their vaccination.
The certificate can be downloaded digitally on one’s smartphone or can be downloaded and printed in order for people to have a hardcopy. That hardcopy will include a QR code which can be read by operators with the necessary permission from the government.
Those with the vaccine certificate will also, from 1 July, be allowed to stay outside without a mask as long as they are either alone or with another fully vaccinated certificate holder.
Taking questions from the press, Fearne confirmed that whoever has the vaccine certificate will be able to travel back to Malta without the need of a PCR test, however exceptions to this rule may come up. These exceptions will be discussed by Superintendent of Health Charmaine Gauci in the near future.
For those individuals who have trouble downloading the vaccine certificate online because they are not technologically proficient, one can ask a friend or a relative to print the certificate for them. The certificate must then be held on one’s person and, if lost, can easily be printed again.
Concerning children traveling abroad, Fearne said adolescents between the ages of 12-15 will be able to travel with a vaccine certificate once they have received their vaccination. For certain cases, adolescents in this age bracket will be able to have their vaccination brought forward, if their case is approved by the health authorities.
Children under the age of five do not need to take a test to travel abroad.
Children who have not been fully vaccinated must get a PCR test before returning to Malta, in order to avoid a spread in schools.
No Indian variant cases are currently active in Malta, Fearne confirmed. He said that Malta has enough doses ordered for 2022 and 2023 in the case that booster doses are needed. In this way, Malta will be prepared in the eventuality that there is a spread in the community.
Abela said that while he is ready to give donations of the vaccines to other countries, he cannot disclose how many doses will be donated, as Malta needs to hold on to a “sufficient” number of doses in the instance that booster doses are needed and extra doses are needed to vaccinate children.
If a tourist does not provide a negative PCR test or a vaccine certificate before boarding a plane, they will be required to have a PCR test done against a fee of €140. The person will also be required to pay an accommodation fee to the residence in which they will quarantine in upon arrival in Malta. This will come into effect as of Tuesday.
Fearne said that health authorities are currently in contact with the Curia and representatives from the entertainment and culture sector to devise a plan for “controlled and limited” activities that one can access if they possess a vaccine certificate.
Spontaneous events, where attendance numbers cannot be controlled, will not be allowed. More information about these events will be announced in June, he confirmed.
The booster dose, Fearne said, will be introduced to Malta for two reasons: firstly, in order to boost immunity if it decreases over time; and secondly to combat any variants that the primary doses of the vaccine will not be able to treat.
Individuals who do not want to take the vaccine will be unable to attend the activities and events that will open up for individuals in possession of a vaccine certificate.
Those individuals who are unable to take the vaccine for medical reasons are encouraged to email [email protected] to explain their respective situations to the authorities. These cases will be viewed on an individual basis, in order to determine if one can benefit from the advantages that will be made available to those in possession of vaccine certificates.