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Travelling to and from Malta during COVID-19: the updates

We don’t know about you, but Santa Maria week is hitting us a little different this year. Usually associated with long-awaited days off, extended Gozo weekends or quick trips overseas, this time we must be a little more cautious. 

In order to shine some clarifying light on all that is going on around us at the moment, we’ve decided to try and make your lives a little easier. 

Travelling to and from Malta in the near future? Here’s the latest:

At the time of writing this article, there are 486 active cases on the island (Islands, really, including Gozo), following a spike since mid-July. 

1. testing before coming to malta

chris fearne, Health minister

Yesterday, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that passengers arriving from countries and cities considered to be high-risk COVID-19 areas, will have to present a certificate stating that they tested negative for the virus in the last 48 hours.

Those that do not present a certificate would have to undergo a swab test in Malta. The good news is that the new swab test is able to produce results within 2 hours, rather than the standard 6. On the flip side though, If they refuse, they would then be placed in quarantine.

As it stands, the countries and cities affected by this measure have not been announced. 

2. mandatory swaBBING

It’s all well and good to point out that the Maltese government will likely be introducing mandatory swabbing. However, we also thought it best to mention the countries that require visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

  • Italy

    Maltese travelling to Italy must present a certificate of having undergone a COVID-19 swab test in the 72 hours prior to entry into Italy and of course, a negative test. Travellers may also take a swab test upon arrival at the Italian airport, port or border place or at a specified local health authority within 48 hours of arrival

  • Greece

    Just like Italy, travellers from Malta are required to show a proven negative COVID-19 test, which has to be carried out 72 hours before entering Greece

3. mandatory quarantine

As of late, a few countries, which are listed below, have opted to enforce a mandatory 2-week quarantine for people travelling from Malta.

  • uk

    Malta has been removed from the UK's 'Green List', which means that anyone travelling to the UK from Malta will have to quarantine for 14 days. This decision will come into effect as of 4am on the 15 August

  • sicily

    Sicilians returning home from Malta will have to go into quarantine, before getting tested for COVID-19. Residents returning home must register with the health authorities at siciliasicura.com. Non residents must also register on the same site and use the connected WebApp. The order, as it stands, does not stipulate that non-Sicilians must quarantine.

  • slovenia

    Slovenia moved Malta from its Green List, to its Yellow List in the last few days. This means that anyone who is not a Slovenian citizen, or a foreign national, who can prove that they have a permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia, will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine of 14 days

  • ireland

    As of 3 August, Ireland dropped Malta from its Green List, meaning that holidaymakers travelling to Ireland from the island must restrict their movements for 14 days

  • Estonia

    also as of 3 August, the Estonian foreign ministry introduced a 2-week quarantine on people arriving in Estonia from Malta

  • Latvia

    The Baltic country is currently advising travellers not to visit Malta. Also, any visitors returning from the island, must self-quarantine for 2 weeks

4. demoted to the orange list

The green, yellow, orange, red and black lists that you’ve undoubtedly heard a thousand times this month alone, vary from country to country. In addition, they’re subject to change often and without very little warning. Malta has most recently been placed on The Netherlands orange list. In essence, this means that the Dutch government has advised anyone returning from Malta to self-quarantine for 14 days. Naturally, they are also advising against any non-essential travel.

5. demoted to the red list

chris fearne, Health minister

chris fearne, Health minister

Countries added or rather, demoted, to a country’s ‘Red List’ means the country in question is attempting to crack down on any travel to countries they deem ‘unsafe’, due to resurgence of coronavirus cases.

  • norway

    Malta is considered to have a high transmission rate, by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which has red-listed the island for travel. Thus, all incoming travellers from Malta to Norway must go into quarantine. This order goes into full effect on the 15 August

  • latvia

    Latvia is advising travellers not to visit the island and any visitors from Malta, must self-quarantine for two weeks

6. demoted to the black list

Being on a country’s ‘Black List’ often means that no-travel rules are in place, until otherwise stated. Many countries have their own standards set up, to determine which countries they deem it safe to travel from. In the case of Lithuania, any country with an infection rate of between 16 and 25 (per 100,000) are allowed to travel to the country, but must self-isolate. 

  • lithuania

    Lithuanian health authorities put Malta's infection rate at 28.4 per 100,000 in the last 2 weeks, thus making it a 'no-travel' zone. Maltese citizens and residents are not allowed to go to the country at all whereas Lithuanian citizens returning from Malta must self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival

7. off the safe list

Being on a country’s ‘Safe List’ generally implies that the country is safe to travel to and returning from there means you don’t have to spend 2 weeks in quarantine, staring at the four walls. Being kicked off the ‘Safe List’ means different things for different countries. However, it usually means that travel to the area is discouraged, though swabbing and quarantine may be in the cards, too.

  • belgium

    Passengers arriving in Belgium from Malta are encouraged to self-quarantine and undertake a swab test as a precautionary measure. The above are not yet mandatory but rather, recommended by the health authorities

Just something to keep in mind:

All of the above information is subject and even likely to change and therefore, we strongly recommend that before making any travel arrangements, you get the very latest updates. Click here and here for more info.