A number of Irish holidaymakers have been forced into mandatory quarantine in Malta when local authorities refused to accept their HSE vaccination certificates as proof that they fulfilled the jab requirements.
It has been reported that up to 25 passengers on a Ryanair flight from Dublin on Monday night were told that they would have to undergo mandatory quarantine because they had a HSE vaccination certificate rather than the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC).
Malta has issued very strict guidelines on entry requirements. Last week, the island nation said only vaccinated people would be allowed in, but then reversed its position and said it would let anyone in possession of a DCC, which gives either proof of vaccine, a negative Covid test or recent recovery from the virus – but that only vaccinated people wouldn’t have to quarantine.
Malta also recognises the UK’s NHS Covid pass and local vaccination certificates.
Minister of State Ossian Smyth has said repeatedly that prospective holidaymakers do not need a DCC to travel within the EU, so long as they can prove their vaccination status or that they’ve had a negative Covid test.
It seems nobody had informed Maltese authorities of this, which led them not to recognise the HSE vaccination cert offered by some passengers instead of the DCC. The government says it is aware of the situation.
The HSE’s DCC helpline has been overwhelmed in the last few days by callers frustrated that they hadn’t yet received their DCC – or that they had but key details like date of birth were wrong.