Malta has finally been added to the United Kingdom’s green list for travel, in what can only be described as a timely boost for Malta’s tourism industry.
Madeira, the Balearic Islands, Israel as well as several UK overseas territories have also made the list. Malta has also been added to Scotland and Northern Ireland’s green list.
The UK lifted a ban on non-essential travel on 17th May, with many in Malta hoping it would be included on the list of countries from which quarantine-free travel is permitted.
Despite Malta’s low rate of new COVID-19 cases, it has already missed out on being added to the list twice. The UK government updates its list every three weeks.
We’re adding Malta to the Govt green list 🟢
We’re also adding Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK Overseas Territories and Caribbean Islands (including Barbados) to the green list and green watchlist.
Israel & Jerusalem are also added to the green watchlist.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) June 24, 2021
British tourists make up the largest chunk of tourists arriving in Malta, with many restaurants and bars practically dependent on their custom.
While operators will be breathing a sigh of relief at the announcement, it could be short-lived, given that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she would like the EU to impose a blanket quarantine requirement for all travellers arriving from the UK.
This afternoon, Belgium and France both announced that they will be enforcing mandatory quarantine for all UK travellers, amid growing concerns about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Malta has the best vaccination rate in Europe, with the Maltese government having pulled out all the stops in order to ensure that the country’s tourism industry is able to get up and running this summer. The industry is considered to be essential to Malta’s COVID-19 recovery.
Malta has launched a set of incentives aimed at encouraging tourists to visit the island over the summer, including rebates of up to €200 for tourists who stay at three, four of five-star hotels and €100 vouchers for tourists older than 65 who travel to the island during the winter months.
The island has recorded consistently low daily COVID-19 numbers in recent weeks and its vaccination rate is one of the best worldwide. As it stands, 81% of the Maltese population has been vaccinated against the virus while 68% have been fully vaccinated.
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