Here I am a year after; yet again stuck again on this tiny piece of land. Why? Because I decided not to take a third vaccination. First and foremost I don’t take a vaccination because I am threatened. I won’t live under the threat that I need to vaccinate myself whenever the authorities decide to! Secondly I believe we were all taken for a ride when we have been administered the first two doses. Most of the information provided was incorrect and I am sorry to say that the majority of health professionals lost their credibility on this issue.
I have been contemplating about this post for months now; ever since our authorities have decided to put an expiry date on vaccination certificates and not giving any other option for ‘unvaccinated people’ (or people who like me took the first two doses only) who wish to leave this island, apart from quarantining when returning.
For those of you who are not yet aware of the current travel restrictions in Malta
The only way to enter Malta is to have a valid vaccination certificate. And by valid the authorities mean that not more than 3 months have elapsed from the second dose. (Mind you I had travelled with an expired vaccination certificate in August, September and December. But now I am no longer deemed fit by the authorities). Ridiculousness at its best.
If you do not comply with this requirement, you and all the people who live in the same household are treated as individuals who are incubating a virus brought from abroad and therefore must undergo a 14-day quarantine. What makes this restriction even more contradictory, is that if the same unvaccinated person comes into direct contact with a confirmed positive case in Malta, the quarantine is that of 5 days.
What makes Maltese citizens disadvantaged when compared to other Europeans
Apart from the fact that we have the strictest COVID entry rules in the EU; we are also among the most disadvantaged when compared to other Europeans
- We live on an island; we are forced to use a shared means of transport to travel (plane or ferry), while other mainland European citizens can move freely from a country to another with their own means of transport without restrictions. There are no controls on land borders!
- A Maltese 2-dose vaccination certificate has the shortest expiry; 3 months. Whereas in other European countries and also foreigners who visit Malta can do so with a vaccination certificate which is up to 9 months old.
- Malta is the only country which does not even consider recovery certificate. Natural immunity was never given any recognition, despite the fact that there are several studies proving its stronger effectiveness when compared to vaccination.
- We have the youngest age exemption. Whereas in most other countries kids under 18 or under 12 have an exemption, here in Malta kids have to present a negative swab or be vaccinated to be allowed in. This makes it harder for families with kids to travel as unless kids are vaccinated, they have to look for labs while on holiday with the risk of being stuck abroad if result is positive.
- Since we were among the first countries to start mass vaccination, the first booster doses will start expiring in May. The population has not been given any information on what is going to happen. As per today’s rules, these people will be considered unvaccinated when 9 months have elapsed from their 3rd dose.
When restrictions were announced in December, me and a lot of other people could not believe this absurdity. I read again and again the legal notice in the hope that I was mistaken. I asked and phoned different places, but unfortunately the absurd was real.
I have been asking to see the scientific evidence upon which the Maltese authorities have claimed they have always took their decisions upon, to all politicians who have called my number asking me whether I needed some political favour before the election. The reply was always the same: “ You are right but it is not up to us”. I wonder what is up to them hehe! I am just asking for my right of freedom of movement as a European citizen!
It is time to reconsider these restrictions
In the light of all the recent evidence, travel restrictions never made a real impact on the spread of the virus. Since vaccination does not prevent infection and the consequent contagiousness, the current travel restrictions make no sense at all. Case in point is China, who has one of the strictest entry requirements whereby foreigners cannot enter the country. Yet, they are currently facing a big surge in cases.
So as we see a number of countries (Scandinavia, Slovenia, UK, Hungary etc.) eliminating all COVID related travel entry requirements, we in Malta are still stuck with these senseless rules. And as all the politicians are just thinking about mass rallies, parties and uniting hundreds of people prior to the election, they seem to have forgot about relaxing or scrapping this rule all together. At least that is what I am hoping; they must have forgot about this rule. As there seems to be no other logical explanation behind this!