Malta will not accept NHS app as proof of vaccination for UK travellers
Holidaymakers travelling to Malta will need an NHS letter proving they have had two doses of vaccine.
The decision by the Maltese government means that the NHS app can’t be used as proof, and letters can take “up to five days”
Travellers from the UK aged 12 and above are only permitted to enter Malta if they have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
Children aged five to 11 can travel if they are accompanying their fully vaccinated parents or legal guardian, and must show evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival.
No test is required for those aged under five. This effectively means those aged 12 to 17 cannot travel to Malta, as the UK is not vaccinating under-18s.
However, the only form of proof currently being accepted is an NHS letter, rather than the NHS Covid app, as announced on Monday.
The government has said that it takes up to five working days for the letters to be delivered, meaning travellers planning to go to Malta in the next few days run the risk of being turned away if they’ve not got a letter.
Many people booked travel to Malta when it was announced that it would be added to the Green travel list last week, meaning returning travellers will no longer have to quarantine.
'12 yr old in tears'
Writing to the British High Commission for Malta on Twitter, Katie Crookshank said: “Because of the ridiculous rule regarding 12-17 yr olds, we have a 12 yr old in tears as she can't be a bridesmaid out in Malta in August. Her mental health has suffered anyway and now she's wondering why she's being punished! Why aren't pcrs enough - they're fine for 11 year olds.”
Responding to her, UK Commissioner for Malta Cathy Ward wrote: "So sorry to hear this Katie. The authorities here told us today that the guidance on teenagers is due to the virus now spreading fastest in this age group and they are worried about the spread of the Delta variant."
What are the current travel restrictions for entering the UK?
The UK government still has restrictions in place for international travel, using the ‘traffic light’ system.
People arriving home from abroad are subject to rules such as home quarantine and strict testing under the travel traffic light system, but these will be differently applied depending on the country visited.
Countries are ranked as either Green, Amber or Red.
People returning from Green countries will have to take a pre-departure test and another PCR test on or before day two of their return to the UK, but there are no quarantine requirements, or additional tests needed unless a positive result comes back.
Last week the Balearic Islands, Barbados and Malta were among the countries added to the UK Green list.