People who are forced into hotel quarantine and refuse to pay the bill in full will have legal action taken against them, the Malta Tourism Authority has confirmed.
Lovin Malta reached out to the MTA to clarify the procedure following a national outcry at the rule forcing travellers from ‘dark red’ countries to pay €1,400 to quarantine at one of two designated hotels.
The authority confirmed that it pays for the occupancy of the hotels in full, with the amount then deducted from the guests .
People who travel to Malta with the proper documentation (ie. a recognised vaccine certificate or a negative PCR test where necessary) and are then asked to quarantine in a hotel by the COVID-19 contact team don’t incur any charges, with the MTA covering the cost.
However, those who travel here in full knowledge that they will have to undergo a quarantine period by law must pay for the bill themselves, with the MTA stating they are allowed to pay it in instalments.
“Failure to do so will result in legal action, however, up until then, legal letters, for the payment to be settled, will be sent,” an MTA spokesperson said.
People travelling to Malta from ‘dark red’ countries, including Maltese residents, are currently being forced to pay €1,400 for their two-week stay at the Marina Hotel or the ST Sliema Hotel, which only includes bed and breakfast.
However, Health Minister Chris Fearne has pledged to announce changes to the rules tomorrow and the PN has insisted that Maltese residents should be allowed to quarantine at home.
Amidst the outcry, Malta-based Nigerian fitness influencer Charity O’Fate (known as activeize) has opened up about her personal experience returning to Malta after travelling to Nigeria to visit her family and renew her passport.
After being told she would have to quarantine at a hotel, O’Fate decided to share a room with a woman from Pakistan who had just arrived at the Malta International Airport too so that they could split the bill.
Although she wanted to find one or two more roommates to reduce the bill further, she was told that the hotel didn’t have any larger rooms available and was shuttled straight to the hotel despite only having €100 on her.
Her mother helped her out with another €300, leaving her with a pending €300 balance, and an MTA official warned her she will be sued unless she pays up.
She urged the government to review the law so as to allow Maltese residents to quarantine at home if needs be.
“I tested negative for COVID-19 before coming here, I tested negative again in Malta but they’re still charging me and don’t want me to quarantine at home,” she said.
MTA statistics show that a total of 1,994 people were made to stay in quarantine hotels in August, up from 1,353 in July and 186 in June.
Cover photos: A quarantine room at the ST Sliema Hotel, Inset: Fitness influencer Charity O’Fate)
Should Malta update its quarantine laws?