Malta requires visitor vaccination proof to curb new cases

The Mediterranean island nation of Malta is poised to become the first European Union member to require visitors to provide proof of vaccination against the coronavirus

VALLETTA, Malta — The Mediterranean island nation of Malta is requiring proof of vaccination for visitors 13 and up, the first European Union nation to do so.

“Malta will be the first EU country taking this step,” Health Minister Chris Fearne said.

Children ages 5-12 will only need to present proof of a negative PCR test, while those under 5 are exempt from all documentation requirements.

Malta, which has a population of just over half a million, had 46 active cases on July 1 and 252 active cases as of Friday. The country has reported nearly 31,000 cases and 420 deaths in the pandemic.

The Maltese government says 90% of the new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people. Currently, 79% of Maltese adults have been fully vaccinated.

Fearne said that most of the new cases were linked to travel. Several positive cases were also identified in English-language teaching schools. As a result, the Maltese government ordered the closure of the schools starting Wednesday.

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