The CovPass Malta app, which establishments legally required to only accept fully vaccinated individuals can use to check their patrons’ vaccination status, is still not available on the Apple App Store, leaving businesses using iOS devices questioning how they are expected to enforce the new 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.
The Government launched the CovPass Malta app to allow such establishments to check their patrons’ vaccine certificate before permitting entry. The app has been available for download on Android devices for some time, with Health Minister Chris Fearne saying that the app would shortly be made available for iOS users.
Over one week since the new rules came into force, however, the CovPass Malta app is still not on Apple’s App Store.
Owners and managers of establishments bound by the new rules whose store devices all run on iOS spoke to BusinessNow.mt and said that the Government has not issued any useful guidance, with one reporting that a Ministry official simply suggesting that they try borrow an Android device to make do for the time being.
Others have reported buying a cheap Android device simply to run the app, noting that such costs only serve to make life difficult for small businesses on knife-edge margins.
Helpline agents also confirmed that the CovPass Malta iOS app has yet to be approved.
Apple App Store guidelines indicate that around half all apps submitted are reviewed within 24 hours, and 90 per cent are reviewed within 48 hours, and warn that, “If your submission is incomplete, review times may be further delayed or your app may be rejected.”
This may indicate that the CovPass Malta iOS app’s development may be experiencing issues.
The Malta Information Technology Agency, the public entity that develops most Government software, said it is not involved in the app’s development.
Questions sent to Apple were not replied to by the time of publication.
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