The Mediterranean archipelago of Malta seemed like a safe holiday bet when it was exempted from both the UK's list of countries requiring quarantine on return, and the FCO advice against all but essential travel, back in July. Eoghan Corry reported at the time that it had "fared well, with a relatively meagre death toll of nine".
But a subsequent rise in cases has led to quarantine now being required for arrivals to the UK from Malta as of 4am on Saturday, August 15, and the FCO advising against all but essential travel there, the latter likely affecting the insurance of those with future trips booked.
On August 6, Telegraph Travel's destination expert Juliet Rix said: "The government removed the ban on mass events, restarting public revelry and Malta’s popular traditional village festas, and the numbers began to rise. There are now 249 active cases (88 of them new migrants most of whom were not mixing with the general population), more per capita than the UK. Yesterday saw 20 new community cases, five of them part of a cluster in Paceville, the clubbing and party area. Previous clusters have centred on a festa and a hotel party."
Below, we detail some of the questions travellers will have regarding trips to Malta, including Foreign Office advice and air travel. This page will be updated as and when guidance changes.
Am I allowed to travel to Malta?
The Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential overseas travel to Malta.
Am I still covered by travel insurance?
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said travel insurance will remain valid for people who are already in the quarantined countries until they return home. However, those who travel to the listed countries after the FCO advice has changed would "likely" find their insurance invalid, the ABI said. If you choose to ignore the advice, however, there a small number of providers willing to offer cover.
Are flights to Malta operating?
Services may now reduce as a result of the changes announced, but flights to Malta from across the UK have been running.
Ryanair has August flights scheduled from London Stansted, easyJet from London Gatwick, and Air Malta from London Heathrow.
Can I get a refund?
Travel companies are set to announce details on how holidaymakers could claim a refund. Package holiday firms usually cancel outbound trips when the Foreign Office warns against travel and give full refunds. Flight-only customers with British Airways can cancel for a voucher (not a refund).
If I go, will I have to wear a mask?
Yes on public transport, including the Gozo ferry, as well as in museums and tourist sites, shops, gyms, hairdressers, swimming pools, restaurants and bars. These venues also have restrictions in place on the number of visitors/customers allowed entry.
Are hotels open?
Yes. Art Deco grand dame the Phoenicia in capital Valletta, for instance, has been operating, but manager Brice Kemper told Telegraph Travel he was concerned as nearly half its guests are British. “If they do not come, that would have a big impact on us,” he said.