Travel advice from ABTA Magazine as tourism restarts.
Situated in the central Mediterranean, the archipelago of Malta – comprising the three main islands of Malta, Comino and Gozo – is a place of discovery: concealed coves, underwater caves and shipwrecks, fossils hidden in towering limestone cliffs, and hiking trails that take in fortresses, megalithic temples and burial chambers. Plus, Malta is blessed with nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, while its tiny capital Valletta is a beautiful city, tranquil enough to make wandering around and drinking outside at pavement cafés a relaxing pleasure. It has been voted the best LGBT+ destination in Europe for five years in a row. More than 500,000 Britons visit the country each year.
As lockdown continues to ease, the government has revealed a list of countries from which inbound tourist and returning travellers do not need to self-isolate (also known as the travel corridors list) – ending its blanket 14-day quarantine policy. However, it is not necessarily the case that Britons can enter the countries on the exemptions list without needing to quarantine, or that flights are even currently available (research suggests as little as a third of the countries can be visited without restrictions). Although firm favourites France, Spain and Italy made it on to lists revealed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Transport (DfT), the USA and Portugal were notable exceptions. Scotland has released its list of exemptions – which is the same as the UK list, but with Spain omitted.
Although the government of Malta had been congratulated for the way in which it handled the Covid-19 pandemic, a rise in cases has seen the FCO change its position to advise against all non-essential international travel to the country.
Malta has also been removed from the travel corridors list, meaning when returning to the UK, travellers will need to self-isolate for 14 days. However, the FCO is not advising those already travelling in Malta to leave at this time.
Malta reopened its airports and ports to passengers on July 15. Flights have been resumed from 18 airports with carriers including Air Malta, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair. Arrivals at Malta International Airport will not need to take a swab test; there will be thermal screening and all passengers will be asked to complete a self-declaration form to share details about their travels over the previous 30 days. All passengers arriving or departing will have to wear a face mask or visor. This also applies to coach transfers to and from the aircraft. Find out more here.
However, it may be not be possible to get travel insurance if travelling against FCO advice.