News at 9: Malta drops all COVID-19 entry restrictions, BA.5 the ‘worst variant’ is here and more

News at 9: Malta drops all COVID-19 entry restrictions, BA.5 the 'worst variant' is here and more

Starting July 25, Malta to lift all Covid-19 entry restrictions, BA.5 – the most infectious and transmissible variant yet has arrived and more in top stories of the day.

Malta to Drop Its COVID Entry Restrictions on July 25

The Maltese authorities have announced that the country will drop its COVID-19 entry restrictions on July 25.
According to the official travel portal of Malta, Visit Malta, starting from July 25, all travellers will be permitted restriction-free entry. This means that Malta will no longer require travellers to present a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon arrival, reports.

Until July 25, when this decision officially starts being effective, all travellers visiting Malta must hold valid COVID-19 proof. The Maltese government notes that all travellers, regardless of their country of origin, currently must present a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate. In addition, the same notes that the certificates must meet the validity rules. The requirement to present one of the passes currently applies to all persons over 12.

BA.5 – The ‘worst variant’ is here

Nearly two-and-a-half years since the coronavirus pandemic began, the most infectious and transmissible variant yet has arrived. The latest version of its shape-shifting, BA.5, is a clear sign that the pandemic is far from over. The newest offshoot of Omicron, along with a closely related variant, BA.4, are fueling a global surge in cases — 30% over the past fortnight, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
BA.5 is on the march in China, ratcheting anxieties that major cities there may soon re-enforce strict lockdown measures that were only recently lifted. And the same variant has become the dominant strain in the United States, where it accounted for 65% of new infections last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Eric Topol, a cardiologist and professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, has called BA.5 “the worst version of the virus we’ve seen.” BA.5 can easily evade immunity from previous infections and vaccines, increasing the risk of reinfection.

Australia removes all COVID-19 entry rules for travellers

Australia has finally removed all its remaining COVID-19 entry rules from this week making it easier for travellers. The country had implemented the strictest pandemic border restrictions in the world for the past two years. But from Wednesday, the nation has removed all of its remaining rules such as proof of vaccination or negative test report to enter. People wanting to visit Australia will not be required to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration also, informed the Department of Home Affairs.
Not only this, unvaccinated visa holders can also enter the country without any restriction. Though the country has removed all the restrictions, some states may impose their own rules. Face masks will also be required on flights to Australia. In fact, airlines have set their own vaccination rules, and airlines like Virgin Australia and Qantas, will require passengers to show their vaccination proof to fly internationally.

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