Over the past days, Malta has recorded significant numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Having exceeded the two thousand active case mark, the situation is one which requires constant monitoring and attention. The influx of unvaccinated travelers has complicated matters for Malta as within a few days, the country started recording three digit figures daily.
In view of the latest spike in cases, it was announced that only vaccinated travelers would be allowed to visit Malta. This was then amended to those travelling to Malta without being vaccinated having to isolate in quarantine for two weeks. Malta is one of the most efficient countries when it comes to its vaccine roll-out, with over eighty percent of its adult population being fully vaccinated. Even though the vaccination numbers for locals are high, the country is still recording large numbers of cases everyday. With that said, although new case numbers are high, hospitalisations and mortality rates are low. It has been reported in the media that most of the people being admitted to hospital are not vaccinated. It is important to keep in mind that there are vaccinated people who are getting infected, however with milder symptoms it seems.
The initial data seems to show that the vaccine is working effectively, with hospitalisations and mortality rates remaining under control without overwhelming hospitals. The fact that hospitals are not being overwhelmed allows those who need medical attention to get it in an effective manner.
In view of the more controlled environment as herd immunity has been reached, the period of quarantine for those who are vaccinated and were exposed to someone who tested positive is expected to reduce in the coming weeks. The eagerness for a return to normality can be felt not only in Malta but also in other countries within the European Union. Both France and Italy have announced that those who refuse to take the vaccine will face a number of restrictions.
One wonders whether a similar approach will be adopted in Malta for those who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine. It may be put forth on the table that those who cannot present a vaccine certificate or a recent COVID-19 test showing that they are negative will not be allowed entry to public places such as restaurants, hotels, theatres and museums. Such restrictions will not be taken lightly by those who refuse to take the vaccine but might be part of the last push required to put this pandemic behind us.
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