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Vaccine certificate no longer mandatory?

Vaccine certificate no longer mandatory?

You heard (or should we say, read) correctly. Vaccination certificates will no longer be mandatory for entry into a number of venues, such as restaurants, as of 7 February, 2022, announced health minister Chris Fearne in parliament yesterday.

The minister went on to confirm that as of a week later, the 14 of February, certificates would not be required to enter many more, including gyms and bars.

For clarity’s sake, here is the full list:

7 February

As of the 7th, vaccination certificates will not needed to enter restaurants, snack bars and social clubs but will be required to enter all other establishments except shops.

14 february

As of the 14th, vaccination certificates will not needed to enter bars, gyms, spas, pools, cinemas, theatres but will be required to get in to mass events, sports events, gaming halls, night clubs and to travel.

The vaccine certificates were first introduced last Monday but have proved to be highly controversial, primarily with catering establishments. According to Fearne, the measures were being reduced because 75% of people have now received the booster dose, COVID-19 cases are reducing and the situation in hospitals in well under control.

Reduced quarantine

With cases reducing in numbers, Fearne said that Malta would soon be reaching a point where mandatory quarantine for primary contracts can be reduced from seven to five days, and maybe even eliminated completely.

For now, however, quarantine periods will remain 10 days for positive cases and seven days for primary contacts. It is still too early, said Fearne, to announce when quarantine measures could be eased, but it may be as early as mid-February, depending on positivity rates.

What about a fourth booster shot?

The health minister said that the booster rollout has been a success, what with two-thirds of the adult population having taken the third shot. It seems to be doing its job too, with hospital and ITU admissions, as well as community transmission numbers remaining low. With regards to a fourth shot, he said plans are in place if needed, but did not commit to rolling it out.

What do you think?