Travel news: Can I travel to Malta this summer and what are the rules?

There was a small bit of good news for holidaymakers on 24 June as the Department for Transport announced that 16 destinations were set to join the travel “green list”.

The transport secretary confirmed that, alongside various British Overseas Territories, tourism favourites Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands and a number of Caribbean islands would soon be upgraded.

Grant Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.

“It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority, while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable.”

So does this mean you can head to Malta on a summer holiday? Here’s everything you need to know.

When does Malta join the green list?

Malta is joining the UK’s green list from 4am on 30 June. Until that point, all arrivals from there remain subject to the amber restrictions: 10 days’ quarantine and two PCR tests.

Will Malta let British holidaymakers in?

Yes. The UK is currently on Malta’s own amber list, meaning travellers from there are welcome to visit, quarantine-free, provided they abide by the rules stipulated below.

Everyone aged five and above must show evidence of a negative Covid PCR test, dated within 72 hours before arrival. You must also show a physical copy of a negative PCR test at check-in to fly to Malta, and after you land there.

Everyone must complete a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form. You must show both forms to airline officials on departure and health officials stationed at the Terminal Temperature Screening Points when you arrive in Malta.

Do you have to be vaccinated?

No. In fact, only those with a valid Maltese vaccine certificate can use this instead of showing a negative PCR test result. Back in March, Maltese authorities had said British holidaymakers who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 would be able to visit from 1 June, but at present the island nation only appears to be accepting its own certification as valid proof of vaccination.

What are the rules in Malta and what’s open?

Passengers on public transport, including the Gozo ferry, must wear face masks.

Masks are mandatory in all public spaces, indoor and outdoor, for all those aged three and over, with fines levied for non-compliance. From 1 July a maximum of 2 people may remove their masks in outside public spaces if they have been vaccinated and they have an official vaccination certificate. Currently only Maltese issued certificates will be accepted as proof of vaccination.

Mask wearing on beaches is advised but no longer required as of 1 June.

Museums and tourist sites, non-essential shops and services such as hairdressers all reopened in April.

Restaurants and snack bars are open, limited to six people per table. Cinemas and theatres are also open, while bars, discos and nightclubs remain closed and boat parties are prohibited.

What are the rules for returning green list travellers?

Those heading to the UK from green list countries, such as Malta (from 30 June), must present a negative Covid test (lateral flow, rapid antigen or PCR) before departure. On arrival into the UK there is no mandatory quarantine, but travellers must take a PCR test within two days of entering the country.

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