British families hoping to travel to Malta for a holiday this summer have been told they will have to leave their unvaccinated teenage children behind.

From Wednesday, only fully vaccinated people from the UK will be allowed into Malta, as a precaution against the spread of the Delta variant of concern.

Exceptions are made for Maltese residents and nationals as well as children under the age of 12, if they have proof of a negative swab test and are accompanied by their double vaccinated parents or guardians. Children under five do not need the test.

But, in the UK, children aged 12 to 17 are not being offered the jab, leaving many families having to cancel or postpone their trips to the island.

Nathalie Richardson has tickets booked for the family, who was hoping to arrive on July 2.

The trip is not just for leisure as her two children, Ella, aged 16, and Louis, 15, both perform in the Malta Youth Orchestra and have to attend rehearsals for an upcoming concert in Valletta on July 17.

“My husband and I are fully vaccinated and so is Ella, due to having asthma, but Louis is not allowed to be vaccinated in the UK due to his age,” she said.

“There needs to be clarity on the situation as we are faced with having to split as a family, with my son and husband staying in the UK while I’m with my daughter in Malta to fulfil her commitments to the orchestra.”

Shortly after the UK announced Malta was on the quarantine-free green list, the Maltese authorities announced that only people with a certificate showing they have had two jabs “will be able to enter Malta from the UK without the need for quarantine”.

News not helpful for teenagers... there will be a lot of families having to cancel

The reference to quarantine was dropped in later statements, which clarified that “persons without vaccination will not be allowed to enter Malta” and added that children aged under 12 would be allowed to enter with their parents.

“The news is not helpful for teenagers,” wrote one mother under the Department of Information’s Facebook post on the travel update.

“There will be a lot of families having to cancel. I have an 11- year-old and a 15-year-old. We are due to come on July 30. Do I hold out to see if there is another update or just cancel now,” she asked.

Another person writing to Visit Malta’s tourism COVID-19 helpline address was told: “No, unless fully vaccinated, children between 12-18 years of age cannot travel from the United Kingdom to Malta.”

The rules as from Thursday

UK to Malta travel:

• You must be fully vaccinated and show a UK, EU or Maltese vaccine certificate.

• Complete a passenger locator form.

• Children aged 5-11 can travel with vaccinated parents/ guardian but must have a negative nasal PCR test carried out within 72 hours from arrival.

• Children under five do not need a test.

• Maltese residents or citizens can be repatriated without a certificate if they get authorisation through the email covid19.vetting@gov.mt and must undertake a pre-departure PCR, 14 days quarantine and PCRs during the period of quarantine.

Malta to UK travel:

• You must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test even if vaccinated.

• Book and pay for a day two COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival.

• Complete a passenger locator form.

• Children aged four and under do not need to take a coronavirus test.

• You do not need to quarantine if the test result is negative.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us