Oil worker must stay in COVID hotel, not in Malta home, due to dark-red origin

Vaccinated oil industry worker in Angola forced to quarantine in hotel despite owning property in Malta

Thomas Mansfield, an oil worker, was not allowed to quarantine in one of his three Malta properties, due to his work being based in Angola, a COVID ‘dark red’ country
Thomas Mansfield, an oil worker, was not allowed to quarantine in one of his three Malta properties, due to his work being based in Angola, a COVID ‘dark red’ country

An oil worker who owns property in Malta will be forced to quarantine in a government-listed hotel, rather than his own private residence in Malta, despite having the necessary vaccine certification.

Thomas Mansfield has to travel from a “dark red country” – Angola – which means his mandatory 14-day quarantine in Malta will have to be spent inside a government-listed hotel, even though he could do it inside his own home.

“I feel discriminated against,” Mansfield, who claims his job is “an essential service”, told MaltaToday. He now faces a €1,400 spend for his hotel quarantine, despite owning a Malta residence. “The room I would be using can be used for others who truly need it.”

Angola is listed as a dark red country, and travellers arriving from the country into Malta have to quarantine at one of government’s quarantine hotels. On Tuesday, the Malta Tourism Authority approved the Sliema Hotel as a second quarantine hotel. The call was issued after the Marina Hotel St George’s Bay started approaching full capacity earlier this month.

Mansfield is a residence permit-holder and has lived in Malta since 1980, but works on a rotational basis, requiring him to leave the country before the start of his next rotational shift. He is the owner of three properties in Malta. Had he been granted approval by the health authorities, Mansfield would be quarantining alone at one his properties.

His present work rotation started on 17 June 2021, and will be ending on the 28 July, arriving in Malta on Thursday morning. Following the break, he will be returning to Angola on 24 August 2021 until early October.

Mansfield was fully vaccinated in Malta, with the second jab taken on 20 April.

Emails sent by Mansfield’s son David to the COVID-19 vetting address on Monday 12 July remained unanswered for 12 days, before the Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci was copied in, in a follow-up email.

In a reply on 23 July, the COVID-19 response team told David Mansfield that his father would need to need to quarantine in a hotel, as he would be arriving from a dark red zone. “Upon arrival in Malta your father will be required to observe a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in a quarantine facility against payment of €100 per night per room including breakfast only,” the email read. “To be able to travel to Malta he must present a negative nasopharyngeal PCR test not older than 72 hours on arrival.”

Mansfield’s request for his father to quarantine at his private residence were turned down, and he was told that the two-week quarantine period must be spent at the designated hotel.

“Since Angola falls under the dark red category for Malta we regret that this request for exemption to quarantine in the quarantine hotel cannot be acceded to,” the reply read.

Despite a follow-up email, Mansfield is yet to receive a reply on his request to be granted special permission to quarantine at his own home.

When MaltaToday called the COVID-19 helpline on 111, a representative said that cases like this one are analysed on a case-by-case basis, and there was no clear-cut direction on what one should do. He said an email should be sent to the COVID-19 vetting department.

Questions sent to the health ministry on Monday have remained unanswered.