Revision on travel within EU countries expected to take place by mid-June – PM

Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 June, 2021 at 9:51 pm by Andre Camilleri

Prime Minister Robert Abela has said that during a European Council meeting, EU leaders called for the revision on travel within the EU, which is expected to take place by mid-June.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Abela said that the EU’s work on the vaccination strategy was welcomed by the European Council.

Abela spoke about the pace of the vaccination across the EU, the Maltese vaccination system, the impact of the pandemic, the global response, and the vaccine production. The Council also discussed the issue of irregular immigration.

With regard to the vaccine roll out, Abela highlighted that the determination and work to accelerate vaccine production will be crucial.

On Monday, PM Abela together with Deputy Leader Chris Fearne announced that Malta will have the possibility to get a hold of a Covid-19 vaccine certificate which will be used to facilitate travel, visits to the elderly, and the restart of certain social and cultural events.

Abela said that, “we appealed that this certificate should be used as soon as possible to ensure that a co-ordinated and stable approach is implemented before the summer season.”

He also added that as EU leaders they agreed that the vaccine capacity needs to be increased, saying that “we called for the speeding up of production in order to ensure access on a global level.”

Speaking about vaccine donations, Abela said that while he is ready to give donations of the vaccine to other countries, he needs to ensure that the people in Malta are given the vaccine first.

“When we see that we have enough doses for the people in our country, we will be able to give donations to other countries. Reassurance must be given to the people of our country before anyone else,” Abela said.

There are currently 12 member states which have committed themselves to donating their vaccines.

Following Abela’s speech, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech stressed the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine certificates being recognised by foreign countries.

Grech said that it was not known what prevented the Prime Minister from making this ministerial statement immediately after the usual EU cabinet meeting.

He claimed that it was the Opposition that asked for the information to be given in this parliament.

Speaking about what happened in Minsk, Grech said that this was very serious and unprecedented.

Grech questioned: What are we doing as a country to free Roman Protasovich? Why is the Prime Minister not being active on this case? Will he accept the request to release Roman Protasevich? 

Regarding the Covid-19 digital certificate, Grech said that this is an important step in the right direction.

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