Malta’s Tourism Authority and the Ministry for Tourism have welcomed the partial reopening of the airport as a crucial step towards rebuilding the island’s tourism industry.
“The announcement that Malta International Airport – our primary gateway to the world – is reopening is of fundamental importance to all of us in the tourism sector, and we welcome it with enthusiasm,” MTA CEO Johann Buttigieg said.
“The difficulties we have managed to overcome together in the past weeks are testament to the resilience of the industry. New challenges lie ahead, but with them come new opportunities.”
“MTA believes that Malta has all it takes to rebuild a profitable industry that provides a livelihood for thousands and is so important to the Maltese economy.”
“Over the past two and a half months, the travel and hospitality industry across the globe has faced an unprecedented challenge,” MTA Chairman Gavin Gulia said.
“Members of the travel trade, from airlines to tour operators and travel agents, as well as hoteliers and restauranteurs, and the many others who earn a living directly or indirectly from tourism, had to endure the impact of an international travel ban.”
“Now that the situation is improving in many countries, and we can finally reopen our borders, we look forward with cautious optimism to the weeks and months ahead. Whilst taking all necessary safety precautions, we can proceed to this important next phase with confidence.”
MTA Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer Carlo Micallef said the Tourism Authority had used the downtime caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to promote Malta as a tourist destination through a campaign called ‘Dream Malta Now… Visit Later’.
“With the opening of our airport, we can now start to inform our overseas partners and customers, that the time to simply dream is over, and the actual visiting can begin once again,” Micallef said.
“It will not happen all at once, and not from everywhere from day one. But it is an important first step, one that the industry and the public has been eagerly waiting for.
Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said today’s announcement reaffirms previous statements by the government that Malta is going to have a summer.
“The lifting of these measures was carefully studied in the past weeks with the health authorities and will give our people confidence while further sustaining our economy and tourism,” she said.
As of 1st July, Malta will allow travel to and from 19 destinations – namely Germany, Austria, Sicily, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and Czechia.
People who arrive in Malta from those 19 countries won’t be swabbed on arrival and won’t be obliged to spend two weeks in quarantine.
Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci said these new protocols will only apply for people who have spent at least four weeks living in one of those 19 countries. However, she didn’t provide any details on how the authorities will enforce these rules.
The Tourism Ministry and the MTA said that more destinations will be announced in “due course”, once clearance from the health authorities is received.