European airport council urges EC to investigate Malta over ‘breach’ of Covid travel rules

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January, 2022 at 11:32 am by Andre Camilleri

The European Commission is being asked to investigate Malta’s “breach” of Covid travel rules by a council that represents European airports.

PoliticoPro said it has seen a letter sent to the commission by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, in which director general Olivier Jankovec says airports would be “extremely grateful” if the Commission investigates the matter “urgently.”

He also urged the EC to contact the Maltese authorities and ask them to abide by the EU’s rules.

According to new rules that came into force on Monday, vaccine certificates are opnly valid in Malta for nine months after the booster shot or three months after the second Covid vaccine shot.

The government has announced that Maltese residents returning after the 17th without a valid vaccination certificate will be given a two-week grace period, but those returning after 1 Februart will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Malta International Airport has come out against the rules, saying that they put Malta at a “significant disadvantage” when compared to other European airports.

“Given that Malta is the only Member State which has shortened the validity period of Covid-19 vaccination certificates, the Superintendent of Public Health has imposed an unnecessary hurdle for Maltese residents to travel, together with undermining consumer confidence for the tourism industry during this already very challenging winter period.”

MIA urged the health authorities to “halt the introduction of further unnecessary and haphazard travel restrictions, which go against the spirit of the European Union to facilitate free movement across all European Member States.”

In his letter to the EC, Jankovec said the EU’s digital Covid certificate has been instrumental in allowing the restoration of free movement for EU citizens during the pandemic, with its “uniform standards and rules providing a much necessary common trusted framework.”

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