Brussels has raised concerns that a ban on non-vaccinated travellers entering Malta could be discriminatory.
In a press briefing on Monday, European Commissioner spokesperson Christian Wigand said any COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place must be “proportionate and non-discriminatory”.
“We have concerns that these measures could discriminate against those persons who are not fully vaccinated,” he said.
While acknowledging that EU countries can put in place measures to protect public health, the Commission had asked Malta for an “explanation” about its measures, he added.
The ban is set to be put into place on Wednesday.
A legal notice fleshing out the ban has yet to be published.
Following a surge in COVID-19 cases, the government on Friday said that, from Wednesday, all travellers arriving in Malta must present a recognised COVID-19 vaccination certificate, and children aged 5-11 accompanying their parents will have to present a recent negative PCR test. Unaccompanied children will not be allowed into the country.
Children under 5 do not need a test.
Freedom of movement is considered as one of the fundamental principles of the EU.
Restrictions can be placed for public health reasons, though any such restrictions are expected to be proportionate.
EU leaders in May agreed on an digital COVID certificate that would streamline travel between the member states. The European Commission said the certificate would "not be a pre-condition to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU".
The certificate is digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated, received a negative PCR test or recovered from COVID.
Malta opted out of the COVID recovery criteria as being valid for entry into national borders, and has now further restricted entry to those who are vaccinated.
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