Malta travel: Am I allowed to visit, are hotel and restaurants open and what rules are in place

Helen Coffey
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As tentative signs start to emerge of a revival for the travel industry, our minds are turning to potential holiday destinations for this summer.

With lush beaches, a hot climate and the attractive 16-century walled city of Valletta to explore, Malta has long been a popular travel destination for Britons in need of some vitamin D.

But can British holidaymakers get there? And will we be allowed in?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Am I allowed to travel to Malta from the UK?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a blanket warning against all non-essential international travel in March, but this has now been lifted for 67 destinations as of 4 July.

Malta was on this list, meaning Britons can now visit there without invalidating their travel insurance.

How could I get there?

Air links with the UK were previously suspended, but are permitted to resume from 15 July.

Several airlines have already started up direct flights into Luqa airport again, such as easyJet, Ryanair and Air Malta.

Return fares are available in August from around £150 with Ryanair at the time of writing.

See the full flight schedule from Malta airport here.

Will they let me in when I arrive?

Yes. As of 15 July, Brits are allowed back into the country, though with some stipulations.

All passengers must have completed a paper copy of both a public health and a passenger locator form, and will have their temperature checked on arrival and departure. Passengers with a high temperature will be required to undergo a swab test.

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive?

Probably not.

Passengers arriving from a list of countries that includes the UK don’t have to quarantine or need any special permits, according to the Visit Malta website.

However, the FCO says all arrivals must have their temperature checked and, if it’s high, take a swab test, with results available within 72 hours.

Those who test positive must remain in mandatory quarantine “until given clearance and notified accordingly by Public Health Authorities,” according to guidance from the Maltese government.

Also, anyone entering Malta who has not spent at least 14 days in the UK (or another country on the “safe” list) beforehand needs a special permit from Malta Health Authorities and may be obliged self-isolate on arrival.

Can I travel within Malta?

Yes.

Public transport in Malta and Gozo is operating normally, as is the regular ferry service linking Malta to Gozo, plus the boat service to Comino.

Are hotels open?

Yes; hotels and other types of tourist accommodation are permitted to open, provided they comply with protocols instigated by the Malta Tourism Authority in order to keep guests and staff safe.

Those that meet the new hygiene and safety standards are awarded with a special sticker to show they come up to par.

Are restaurants, shops and attractions open?

Museums and tourist attractions, shops, gyms, beaches, swimming pools, restaurants and bars have re-opened with restrictions on the number of customers allowed entry, a requirement to wear a mask and social distancing measures in place.

What rules are in place?

Passengers on public transport, including the Gozo ferry, must wear face masks. Social distancing of 2 metres is encouraged.

Travellers are also required to weak a mask at all times while in the airport. Exceptions are made for children under six or people with valid medical reasons.

Will I have to quarantine when I come home?

Not anymore.

Although the government implemented a blanket two-week quarantine for all inbound arrivals on 8 June, from 10 July this was lifted for certain countries.

Places regarded as “low-risk” by the Joint Biosecurity Centre – which was set up to coordinate the government’s response to the pandemic – are now exempt from mandatory self-isolation.

Malta is one of the 59 destinations that is exempt for travellers entering England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and is also on Scotland’s separate list of 57 countries from where arrivals no longer need to quarantine.

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