Author: Claire Farrugia

Less than seven per cent of the language students who travelled to Malta since June 1 used their spending vouchers before the scheme was withdrawn by the government. The vouchers, worth up to €300 for students staying 30 nights, were aimed at generating millions back into the economy. RELATED STORIES Students in Malta to study English have been making headlines after a quarter of the COVID-19 active cases were traced back to young people attending language schools. Amid criticism of the decision to allow unvaccinated students to travel to Malta, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo has said it was “in the…

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An international team of scientists may have found “freshened groundwater” offshore in the south-east of Malta. The discovery, off the coastline between Valletta and Marsascala, could mean a new source of potable water, researchers said. Scientists from Malta, Germany, Spain and Italy were involved in the study, which is based on an oceanographic expedition carried out in 2018. Seismic reflection profiles acquired during this expedition were used to generate a geological model of the seafloor offshore the Maltese islands, with electromagnetic surveying carried out to identify resistivity anomalies, or high values of electromagnetic resistivity beneath the seafloor. The observations indicate…

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Malta’s COVID-19 rates are the fifth-highest in the EU, official figures from last week’s data show.  Only Cyprus, Portugal and Spain and the Netherlands have a higher case rate compared to Malta’s 379 new cases per 100,000 people. But the country is now only the only one in the EU to have a death rate of zero, a situation health authorities attribute to the high vaccination rate. It has consistently registered the lowest death rate for three weeks. The details emerged from fresh weekly data issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The overview provides an…

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Health authorities reiterated on Wednesday that cards with vaccine details given to those inoculated with the COVID-19 jab are not accepted at Malta’s ports. For entry into Malta, travellers have to present one of the recognised vaccine certificates. The issue made headlines in Ireland when reports of Irish holidaymakers being forced to quarantine upon arrival in Malta because their documents were not recognised surfaced. The seven tourists presented the so-called vaccine cards – the document handed at vaccination centres that show details of the jab administered.  Although airlines are bound by Maltese law to refuse boarding to those without the…

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The rate of transmission of COVID-19 is “less” among those who are vaccinated, public health Chief Charmaine Gauci said on Wednesday.  “There are studies that show the virus’s viral load is less with vaccinated people and this is what we’re seeing here as well,” Gauci said. On enforcement, Gauci said: “this is never enough for the whole population”. Different entities had to be roped in, she said, in order to ensure the COVID-19 rules are followed.  “This is not enough for everyone. We’re increasing as much as we can but I would be happier if I see more people following…

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Over 500 foreign students who came to Malta to study English have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. As the health authorities continue to grapple with a spike in the number of new cases all eyes have been on the unvaccinated youths in Malta to learn English, especially after the schools were ordered to shut because of clusters in many of them. At least a quarter of the country’s active COVID cases are young students who travelled to the island this summer. The information was supplied to Times of Malta by the health ministry after Malta made its way…

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Everyone over the age of 60 in Malta has been given at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).  The data on member states’ progress with vaccination is updated regularly on the EU agency’s Vaccine Tracker platform. As of Tuesday morning, the tracker showed that Malta had vaccinated all those eligible in three crucial categories – the 80+ group, the 70-79 group and the 60-60 group. The health authorities had started vaccinating the elderly as soon as the first doses were shipped to the island at…

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Malta is once again on the EU’s red travel list as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to spike in recent weeks. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issues a weekly map classifying each country based on the number of cases and positivity rate detected in the previous week. It is part of the European Council’s recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel measures in the EU.   In the latest map, issued on Thursday, Malta was listed as a red country after the 14-day case notification rate shot up to 122 and the positivity rate stood at…

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The low number of COVID-19 cases currently in hospital confirms that “the situation is under control” despite rocketing tallies of daily new infections, Robert Abela has said.   Speaking on Labour’s ONE radio, the prime minister admitted the pandemic remained an “ever-changing struggle” but said the vaccines were leaving their mark and making a difference. As of Saturday, there were 17 patients in hospital, with only one requiring intensive care.  The COVID-19 vaccines, he said, left authorities in a better position than they were when they had to deal with similar spikes in cases before people were inoculated against the virus. …

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Unvaccinated people arriving in Malta will be charged at least €1,400 per room for their stay in a quarantine hotel, the tourism authority has announced. The measure, which comes into force on Wednesday, applies to anyone who arrives without an approved vaccine certificate. Those who fail to complete the mandatory quarantine period, which is currently 14 days, face fines of up to €10,000. It remains unclear if the mandatory hotel quarantine stay also applies to Maltese residents who arrive without a valid certificate. In a post on Facebook, the Malta Tourism Authority said those coming to the island without the…

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