The United Kingdom, a major market for inbound tourism, has officially advised against non-essential travel to Malta, cautioning travellers “if you are returning to the UK from Malta on or after 15th August, you may need to self-isolate on your return”.
The UK Government, on its official COVID-19 guidance webpage wrote:
“The following countries and territories will be removed from the travel corridor list at 4am, Saturday 15th August 2020:
“Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Turks and Caicos Islands.”
The UK Government advised that different territories of the UK will have different self-isolation rules and penalties for non-compliance, and confirmed that travellers returning to Malta from England will have to self-isolate for a period of two weeks.
While the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Government COVID travel pages have not been updated to specify Malta is no longer on the quarantine-exemption list, all three sites stress that self-isolation will take place for countries outside the UK’s safe travel corridor list, which Malta will no longer form part of as of Saturday 15th August.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued the update on Malta early Friday morning, saying:
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Malta. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Malta to leave at this time. You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.
“If you are returning to the UK from Malta on or after 15 August, you may need to self-isolate on your return. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”
Malta saw around 600,000 tourists from the UK in 2019, with the two nations having historical ties.
Following Malta’s rapid spike in cases from mid-July onwards, with no signs of slowing as-of-yet, Italy has announced it requires COVID tests for people arriving from the island, while Belgium and the Netherlands have placed Malta on their ‘orange’ list for travel.
Slovenia removed Malta from its travel green-list, joining Ireland and three Baltic states.