Airport

Airports in Europe are demanding action against Malta for breaching the EU’s COVID-19 travel rules by limiting the validity of vaccine certificates.

According to new rules that came into force on 17th January in Malta, vaccine certificates are only valid for three months from the date of the second dose (or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), as opposed to the nine-month period stipulated by the European Commission.

According to PoliticoPro, European airports are “extremely concerned” about Malta’s decision to limit the validity of the EU’s digital COVID certificate.

The news platform said the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), an organisation representing the continent’s airports, had sent a letter to the European Commission to highlight a “breach” of EU rules.

In the letter, ACI’s director general Olivier Jankovec said the lobby group would be “extremely grateful” if the commission investigated the matter urgently and ordered Maltese authorities to abide by EU rules.

The ACI’s ire follows criticism of Malta’s decision by the European Commission itself. Earlier this month, a spokesperson for The Commission told The Times of Malta that, under new EU rules that came into force on 21st December, “member states must accept any vaccination certificate that has been issued less than nine months since the administration of the last dose of the primary vaccination”.

Malta International Airport (MIA) also accused the health authorities of making it harder for Maltese residents to travel and thus putting the airport at a disadvantage compared to its European counterparts.

“We urge the health authorities to halt the introduction of further unnecessary and haphazard travel restrictions, which go against the spirit of the European Union to facilitate free movement across all member states,” the airport had said.

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