A Maltese resident has been forced to fork out €1,400 to stay at a quarantine hotel, and denied the chance to self-isolate at home, because she’s travelling from Russia, which has been listed as a “dark red” country.
Her husband, a Maltese national, reached out to Lovin Malta after the health authorities informed him that his wife won’t be able to quarantine at home after returning from Russia, where she had travelled to meet her relatives, including her dying grandfather.
“The issue isn’t that she has to quarantine, that is totally understandable, but that she’s forced to quarantine at a hotel at a ridiculous cost,” he said.
Introduced last month, the ‘dark red’ list, a level above the ‘red list’, adds a new layer to Malta’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Visitors can only travel to Malta from a ‘dark red’ country in exceptional circumstances, which includes returning Maltese citizens or residents, and with prior authorisation by the Superintendent of Public Health.
They must present a negative PCR test before boarding, spend 14 days quarantine at a Maltese quarantine facility against a payment of €100 a night, which only includes breakfast, and test negative for the virus again on the 11th or 12th day of quarantine.
In contrast, travellers from countries in the red zone must fill out a passenger locator form and present a vaccination certificate recognised by the Maltese authorities or, in the case of children aged 5-11, a negative PCR test.
Travellers older than 12 not in possession of a vaccine certificate must present a negative PCR test and undergo 14 days of quarantine which they can spend at a quarantine facility or an alternative address, if authorised by the Superintendent of Public Health.
However, the official rules make it clear that the alternative address exemption only applies to people travelling from ‘red’ countries, while providing no explanation as to why the same rules don’t apply to travellers from ‘dark red’ ones.
Malta currently has only two officially recognized quarantine facilities – Marina Hotel in St George’s Bay and ST Sliema Hotel.
Have you been forced to spend time at a quarantine hotel despite having a Maltese address? Feel free to reach out at [email protected] to share your experience