Vaccine certificate not only option discussed, Maltese Minister for Tourism, Hon Clayton Bartolo says
Malta Air will commence its summer schedule in June, with flights connecting the island to an additional five destinations within Europe in the coming months.
Speaking at a press conference, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said the five new destinations are Cagliari (Sardinia), Brindisi, Genoa and Trapani (Sicily) in Italy and Chania (Crete) in Greece.
The new destinations will bring the total number of routes to and from Malta to 57 with a total of 155 weekly flights planned for the summer.
The Trapani route will commence in June while flights to the other four locations will take off for the first time in July. Malta Air is a subsidiary of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair.
“This is a surreal experience here at the departure lounge and one we don’t want to see”, Bartolo said, speaking from an empty lounge at the airport.
He urged the public to follow the directives in place to control the spread of COVID-19 so that once the “pandemic is a chapter of the past” Malta can come out of the experience stronger. He said it would be a shame to waste everyone’s efforts right when there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Also speaking at the conference, airline CEO David O’Brien said Malta is “on track” with its vaccination and so the island was one of the airline’s top 10 destinations.
Asked about vaccine certificates and the so-called digital passports, Bartolo said that those who, for some reason, might not have been vaccinated will still be allowed to travel.
The “traffic lights” system and PCR tests will still be available in these cases.
On Tuesday, Clayton announced Malta and the UK have begun bilateral talks on creating a digital vaccine certificate and “will not be limited” by EU negotiations.
The vaccine certificate, developed in conjunction with the health authorities, will include a standard QR code, which is a barcode that allows computers to read information after the code is scanned.