Malta now says it WILL accept NHS app as proof of vaccination in boost for UK holidaymakers

·2-min read
A cruise liner in Valletta, Malta (REUTERS)
A cruise liner in Valletta, Malta (REUTERS)

Malta has announced it will accept the NHS app as proof of vaccination after all in a boost for UK holidaymakers.

The island had previously said travellers would require a formal letter from the NHS to the dismay of many travellers who thought they could rely on the app.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Thursday that decision had been reversed.

He tweeted: “Pleased to say that #Malta now recognise our NHS Covid app (or NHS letter), to allow our fully vaccinated UK citizens access to their beautiful islands without the need to isolate.”

Malta was added to the green list on Wednesday due to its low number of Covid cases, with Brits already starting to book holidays.

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However, it remains the case the only those who have had both doses of a vaccine can enter the country.

Maltese officials announced on Monday that the NHS app would not be accepted as proof of being vaccinated, potentially throwing thousands of booked trips into doubt.

It had said it would only recognise a formal letter from the NHS - but it can take as long as five working days for it to be delivered.

In addition, children aged five to 11 can travel if they are accompanying their fully vaccinated parents or legal guardian, and must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival.

No test is required for those aged under five.

But everyone over the age of 12 is required to be vaccinated, which means teenagers may not be able to travel as the UK is not currently vaccinating anyone under 18.

The requirement for UK arrivals for those aged 12 to 17 to be fully vaccinated is effectively an outright ban, as the UK is not vaccinating under-18s.

It is not yet known if the UK has been able to resolve this issue as well.

There was a surge in demand for holidays in Malta, Spain’s Balearic Islands, Portugal’s Madeira and a number of Caribbean destinations after the UK Government announced last week they would be moved to the green travel list on Wednesday at 4am.

The change means people arriving in the UK from those places no longer need to quarantine at home for 10 days.

Price comparison website TravelSupermarket said Malta went from being its 17th most popular country among package holiday customers to number five following the announcement.

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