Several fully vaccinated Irish holidaymakers are being forced to quarantine when arriving in Malta after the country said it would only accept digital Covid certificates.
The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) said that “a number” of holidaymakers from Ireland were having to quarantine on the Mediterranean island despite being fully vaccinated against Covid.
The situation has occurred because Maltese authorities have not been accepting vaccination cards, issued by the Irish health service HSE, and are instead insisting on travellers providing digital proof of vaccination.
ITAA called on the Irish government to “liaise with Maltese authorities and issue digital Covid certificates (DCCs) to affected passengers immediately”.
Paul Hackett, ITAA president, said: “To the best of our knowledge, Malta is the only EU country that is refusing to accept HSE vaccine certificates.
“This is a situation that can be easily and quickly rectified, if government issue DCCs to all affected travellers. The DCC helpline is also under-resourced, which must be addressed as international travel continues to reopen.”
Pat Dawson, ITAA’s chief executive, added: “We are urging customers to carefully check the rules and regulations of their destination country before going on holiday and to book with a licensed ITAA travel agent for the most up-to-date advice on travel and added consumer protection.
“If you are unsure about anything, contact your ITAA member travel agent who will assist you with any queries you may have.”
This situation is the latest incident of confusion over entry rules for international holidaymakers visiting Malta, which is currently on the UK’s green list for quarantine-free travel.