Travellers grounded by Covid advice shambles

My wife and I tried to fly to Malta last week from Heathrow, but were refused permission to board by Air Malta. Despite having written evidence of negative PCR tests within the last 72 hours and digital NHS app proof of two jabs plus written proof of double vaccination, complete with venues, dates and type of vaccine on a printout, which also had a QR code on it, we were refused permission and had to return home.

Apparently we were supposed to have an “NHS letter”, which could be sent to us by post, taking five to seven days. Seemingly no one told the NHS as they told us what we had was sufficient.

What we presented was, and I quote, “Your unique 2D barcode” pointing at the QR code. Underneath it says, “This is to confirm your Covid-19 vaccination record, it is important. Keep it safe. It proves that you have been vaccinated” – all written below the NHS blue banner.

If we had had an EU digital vaccination record on our phones that would have been sufficient. Not the NHS app though.

This has been a shambles, with advice differing from day to day and depending on which organisation is asked. I understand Malta’s wish to protect the health of its citizens, and step things up when going on the UK’s green list, but it has been chaotic. The UK and other countries want to get their tourist trade flowing again. This is not the way to achieve that aim.
Tim Pollard
Purley, Londres

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