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Irish holidaymakers in Malta end quarantine as Embassy warns against travel without Digital Covid Cert

Malta is the only European country not accepting HSE vaccination cards as proof of vaccination.

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Updated Jul 22nd 2021, 7:29 PM

ALL OF THE holidaymakers who flew from Dublin to Malta and were forced into mandatory quarantine after their HSE vaccine cards were not accepted have now been issued with Digital Covid Certificates (DCC). 

Malta’s Department of Health confirmed yesterday that seven people who presented “non-compliant” certificates upon landing could leave quarantine when their DCCs were issued and their exit approved.  

Malta is part of the EU’s DCC system but those travelling there must be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country without having to quarantine.

The Journal reported on Tuesday that a number of people on the Malta-bound Ryanair flight presented HSE vaccination cards on arrival but they were not deemed as acceptable proof of vaccination despite the cards being checked before boarding. 

The Irish government had assured holidaymakers ahead of Monday’s return of non-essential travel that a DCC was not required if other documentation was available, but this was not the case with Malta. 

The Irish Travel Agents Association said yesterday that Malta is the only European country not accepting vaccination cards as proof. 

Maltese authorities had said that the individuals subject to quarantine can request an end to that quarantine if they obtained a valid DCC. 

Minister of State for eGovernment Ossian Smyth had said he and other departments were working to ensure that the certs were being sent to individuals affected. 

The work has involved officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the National Immunisation Office.

It has now been established that all the certs now been issued. 

An individual involved in the final case to be settled has told The Journal that they had left mandatory quarantine and were now in their own accommodation on the Mediterranean island. 

The first Dublin-Malta flight since this week’s confusion departed from Dublin Airport earlier this evening and is scheduled to arrive later. 

The Department of Transport had said it would be engaging with Ryanair and that the carrier would be “engaging with the Maltese authorities regarding requirements for travel to the country”. 

The Irish Embassy in Malta earlier tweeted advice to people travelling to the country, saying that people who are fully vaccinated must “possess an EU Digital Covid Certificate if vaccinated by Ireland’s HSE”. 

“If not, 14 day mandatory hotel quarantine applies at your expense. HSE card not accepted by Malta,” the Embassy said. 

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“As such, consider rescheduling your flight to Malta if you are not in possession of the EU Digital Covid Certificate of full vaccination.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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