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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne has announced a phasing out of the controversial vaccine certificate requirements for entry into hospitality venues – eight days after the rules came into effect.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, he revealed that vaccine certificates will not be needed for entry into restaurants, snack bars and social clubs from 7th February, and for bars, gyms, spas, pools, cinemas and theatres from 14th February.

They will still be required for entry into mass events, sports events, casino, night clubs and travel, however.

Under the short-lived rules, from 17th January, restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, theatres, casinos and other venues of social interaction and entertainment may only accept individuals who have received the booster, unless less than three months have passed since their initial round.

There are also certain limited exemptions, such as pregnant women in their first trimester and young children.

On Tuesday, Minister Fearne also stated that Malta is approaching a point where mandatory quarantine for contacts of positive COVID cases will be reduced from one week to five days, then eventually completely abolished.

It is too early to announce when this can come into effect, he said, while touting mid-February as a possible date, depending on positivity rates.

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