COVID-19: English language schools to close, only vaccinated people allowed into Malta, Fearne says

From 14 July English language schools to close and vaccination certificates to be mandatory for travellers 

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne

From 14 July, anyone arriving on the island must produce a recognised vaccination certificate from either Malta, the UK or the European Union, Health Minister Chris Fearne has announced on Friday.

“We will be the first country in Europe to take this step,” he said.

Children accompanying their parents will have to present a recent negative PCR test to be allowed in.

English language schools will also be shut down from 14 July.

The press conference comes after 96 new infections were detected on Friday.

Fearne said virus cases have been detected at nine different English language schools across the country.

He also said the majority of new COVID-19 cases are related to overseas travel, with practically all new infections among people who have not been vaccinated.

The most recent hospital patient is a foreign national who lives in Malta who had received their first vaccine dose a short while before being infected, Fearne said.

“In recent days, the majority of new cases were related to travel - people who came from abroad or Maltese who went abroad and came back. Most are those unvaccinated tourists,” he said. “A large number of cases also come from English schools.”

Charmaine Gauci said most of the new cases were people aged between 15 and 30. There was a relatively large cluster at one particular language school and this will have an impact on the community, she said.

Gauci said that 12 of the new cases were people who were fully vaccinated.

Fearne said that to date, more than 700,000 vaccine doses have been given. 84% of adults have so far taken at least the first dose. 79% are completely vaccinated.

He said that from next Monday there will be clinics where people can go to be vaccinated without an appointment. "Those who are not vaccinated remain at risk."

On next Sunday’s Euro final match, the health minister appealed for people to remain cautious, but said that he was informed there will be increased police presence in the streets.