Author: Kristina Abela

People who took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are travelling to Luxembourg, Switzerland and France have been asked to contact the health authorities to have their digital COVID certificate re-issued. Times of Malta recently reported that those who took the single dose jab here were having trouble using their passport in other EU countries. Official apps in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, which are used to verify the COVID certificates through a scan of the QR code, were reading them as invalid. This was happening in Switzerland as well. The Health Ministry’s technical team explored the issue and a spokesperson has…

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People who took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Malta are having trouble using their digital COVID certificate in other EU countries. Government applications in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, used to verify EU digital COVID certificates through scanning the QR code, are reading the certificates as invalid. The same applications, however, are accepting certificates issued in Malta for people who have taken Pfizer, Astra Zeneca or Moderna vaccines. RELATED STORIES Steve Abela, who was given the single dose jab, was on holiday in France earlier this month when he was denied entry into a bar to watch a football…

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A concerned mother of three has offered to “cook up a storm” for the Slovakian teenagers who suffered food poisoning while in quarantine due to COVID-19, Gill Caruana told Times of Malta she was ‘horrified’ by the treatment some English language students are receiving and was ready to help them in any way she could. On Tuesday, the two Slovakian students were rushed to Mater Dei Hospital suffering from food poisoning after being served undercooked chicken while in quarantine. The news report also revealed the unsanitary condition of their accommodation, as well as the mental state of the teenagers, one…

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Dozens of companies are considering requiring their unvaccinated employees to take weekly novel coronavirus tests, according to the head of the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA). Joseph Farrugia said employers have been contacting the association for guidance on how to put the plan in place in a bid to encourage their workforce to get the jab. It follows APS Bank’s controversial decision to require its employees to be vaccinated or undergo a weekly PCR test every Friday or Saturday, with any office hours used to be deducted from a staff member’s vacation leave. Farrugia explained that APS was not alone in…

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Hundreds queued up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday as the first mobile clinic in Malta opened its doors. The appointment-free pop-up at Mosta Technopark opened at 9.30am and was only due to operate until noon but had to extend its hours after so many people showed up. Residents also turned up at a walk-in clinic at Gateway Hall at the University.  Most people in the queues were foreign residents who were not eligible to get the jab earlier because they do not yet have ID cards or hadn’t received an appointment.  Queues at Mosta. Video: Karl Andrew Micallef…

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A Maltese man living in Portugal is claiming discrimination as his EU COVID Pass is not recognised in Malta, grounding his family’s trip to see his seriously ill mother. James Cutajar says he and his children are in a race against time to see his mother unless he goes through an expensive and lengthy quarantine. For a year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for Cutajar’s children to visit their grandmother in Malta. The software developer faced a travel nightmare as a number of airlines cancelled direct flights to Malta from Porto in the past year.…

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Identity Malta has lowered its financial resources requirement for third country nationals seeking residence permits for family members in Malta. The adjustment comes following a ruling by the Immigration Board of Appeal (IBA) that found Identity Malta’s original benchmark figure to be skewed. Identity Malta revised its definition of stable resources to €15,354 a year including €3,070 for each family member.  Third country nationals were previously required to earn €19,000 a year, as well as €3,800 extra for each family member to keep dependents in the country, figures which did not include bonuses or overtime. The policy had made headlines…

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Around 10 trees outside Siġġiewi primary were chopped down because their roots were causing extensive damage to the school, according to principal Sean Zammit. The site of the roughly cut ficus trees provoked an outcry on social media on Thursday morning, with the local council denouncing the act as “obscene and insensitive.” A view of the street before the trees were given the chop. However, Zammit explained that the shallow roots had been pushing up tiles in the school kitchen and corridor and had become a safety hazard for the students. “Children have tripped over the uneven tiles and ended…

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Airlines turned away unvaccinated travellers boarding flights to Malta on Wednesday, despite a last-minute legal notice giving such travellers the option to enter and quarantine. A complete ban on unvaccinated tourists was watered down on the eve of new measures coming into force after criticism by the EU about the discriminatory rules The legal notice now clarifies that unvaccinated arrivals from red-list countries, which include all EU states, can enter the country but must “submit themselves to a period of quarantine”. RELATED STORIES However, travellers coming from Poland, Turkey and England said a vaccination certificate was mandatory to board their…

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Furniture manufacturers are having to turn down work due to a shortage of skilled workers and are collaborating with MCAST to attract more young people to the trade. Very few students are choosing carpentry as a career owing to the misconceptions that surround it, says Mario Cardona, MCAST deputy principal for Technology and Applied Sciences. “Students associate carpentry and furniture making with a traditional way of doing things. They tend to think of a carpenter as someone with a saw in a very traditional setting, and are not attracted by it,” he said. “But in reality, the sector is producing…

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