Irish travel agents urge government to help ease Malta quarantine

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) is urging the Irish government to issue EU Digital Covid Certificates to allow its vaccinated citizens to visit Malta.

A number of Irish holidaymakers are facing quarantine despite being fully vaccinated because authorities in Malta are but do not recognise Health Service Executive (HSE) vaccination cards.

The ITAA says this situation is specific to Malta – which it says is the only European country refusing fully vaccinated travellers with HSE cards.

It is calling on the Irish government to liaise with Maltese authorities and issue Digital Covid Certificates to affected passengers “immediately”.

More: Malta to require ‘proof of vaccine’ from UK arrivals

President Paul Hackett said: “To the best of our knowledge, Malta is the only EU country that is refusing to accept HSE vaccine certificates. This is a situation that can be easily and quickly rectified, if government issue DCCs to all affected travellers. The DCC helpline is also under-resourced, which must be addressed as international travel continues to reopen.”

The ITAA is advising prospective Irish holidaymakers to check rules and regulations in their destination countries before departure, and to check with their travel agent for the most up-to-date advice on international travel.

The association notes that booking with a licensed travel agent provides added consumer protection should any issues arise, but to also check the Gov.ie, dfa.ie and reopen.europa.eu websites.

Chief executive Pat Dawson said: “We are urging customers to carefully check the rules and regulations of their destination country before going on holiday and to book with a licensed ITAA travel agent for the most up-to-date advice on travel and added consumer protection. If you are unsure about anything, contact your ITAA member travel agent who will assist you with any queries you may have.”

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