Malta Holiday Misery as Authorities Refuse UK Digital Vaccine Certification

malta digital vaccine refusal titlen

UPDATE - Malta has reversed its policy and said that it WILL now accept the Digital NHS app as proof of vaccination.

Malta, recently added to the UK's green list for travel, has today (30 June) opened its borders to fully vaccinated tourists, but with an extraordinary last-minute update is refusing to accept any form of digital certification – including the NHS app – as proof that visitors are fully vaccinated. It had been previously 'understood' that the NHS app would be accepted as proof.

Unaware of the change to Malta's travel guidance, travellers have been turned away at check-in for not having a paper certificate. The certificates are freely available from the NHS, but can take up to five working days to arrive. 

A June 29 update on Malta's official tourism website states: 'Only the paper version of the NHS Covid letter will be accepted as proof of double vaccination to enter Malta. No digital form of the vaccination certificate, not even the downloaded PDF version from the App (including the QR codes generated by the App) will be accepted. Only the barcode on the letter received by post will be accepted.'

Malta had previously expressed its 'delight at being able to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the UK', with unvaccinated tourists able to visit upon production of a negative PCR test result taken no no more than 72 hours before departure.

Pre-flight PCR tests remain mandatory, but the additional requirement for proof of vaccination will have thrown many holiday plans into turmoil, particularly those with families since children aged between 12 and 17 – who are not being offered the vaccine in the UK – are now effectively banned from visiting Malta. Children 5-11 years of age may visit when accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult, but are required to provide a negative pre-flight PCR test result. Children under five do not require a test nor a vaccine.

Malta, together with Portugal and the Balearic Islands, became one of the most popular destinations for holiday bookings when UK travel restrictions were lifted earlier in June. The last-minute refusal to accept the NHS app as evidence and impossible requirement for paper vaccine certificates to be produced will no doubt lead to a raft of last-minute cancellations by holidaymakers unable to defer their visit.

Those planning a visit to Malta can request the proof-of-vaccination letter online at, or by calling the NHS enquiry line on 119. The website states that it should be received within five working days.


uk print digital sub intl print digital sub digital onlysub




Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...