The Malta Independent 4 August 2021, Wednesday

Heavy crowding reported at airport; MIA blames lack of digital verification systems

Friday, 18 June 2021, 18:05 Last update: about 3 months ago

Heavy crowding was reported at the Malta International Airport's arrivals area on Friday, as the airport grapples with the added checks required for people entering the country.

People passing through the airport reported having to wait anywhere between an hour or even two hours - longer than some of the flights entering the country - to arrive at the head of the queue and be able to leave the airport.

Queues snaked all the way back to the baggage claim area at times, and the necessary social distancing was rare at best owing to the extensive number of people there.

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In a statement, the MIA said that it was aware of the "unacceptable situation" and "deeply regrets the inconvenience and anxiety suffered by guests who were caught up prior to start of their stay in Malta."

"In light of this, Malta International Airport would like to once again call on the Superintendent of Public Health to digitalise the health document verification process completely without further delay. This afternoon's queues at arrivals clearly show that the current paper-based checks are clearly inadequate and untenable", the airport said.

"Furthermore, we appeal for stronger legislation to enforce the use of digital health declarations and certificates by travellers which will in turn facilitate health screening processes on the ground", it concluded.

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