Updated Malta travel advice - 03 June 2021
Just like in 2020, the one thing we can expect this year when travelling is the unexpected.
On Tuesday, the Maltese Government threw an expensive spanner into the works for anyone #travelling imminently to the islands of #Malta and #Gozo by dictating we must present a negative PCR test - regardless of the fact that we may be fully vaccinated.
This is a huge U-turn on its decision to allow fully-vaccinated tourists test-free access to the islands from the 1st of June.
To be honest, I 99.9% expected it.
Our R number has risen and is back above 1, it's now very much a race between vaccinating and this ever increasing Indian variant.
How do I feel about the decision?
Pretty much unperturbed.
Because this new rule simply isn't set in stone!
As quickly as this new rule has come into play, it can just as quickly be kicked into touch.
WE need to remember that discussions and negotiations are still underway between both governments. The aim of which?
To thrash out the details of a #bilateral vaccine passport.
The #UK is an extremely important market for Malta. Us Brits are their biggest spenders, and as such our presence or lack of on their shores will pretty much make or break their #summer economically.
The official line is,
"A vaccination certificate will only be accepted when; (a.) EU’s digital Covid passport is in place and functioning and (b.) Bilateral agreements to accept reciprocal vaccination certification between Malta and other country are signed
As yet EU Digital Covid Passport and bilateral agreements are not in force"
Until such a time as a decision upon that is reached, the new rules dictate that touristic travel to Malta (holidays in Malta) is only permitted from the 51 Amber list countries (of which the UK is one) accompanied by a passenger locator form, public health travel declaration form and a negative PCR test result obtained within 72 hours of arrival in Malta.
"Any person who travels to Malta, whether by air or by sea, of the age 5 and above, shall prior to boarding and upon arrival provide a
Public Health Travel Declaration Form and a Passenger Locator Form
Both forms will need to be shown to airline officials on departure as well as health officials stationed at the Terminal Temperature Screening Points following arrival in Malta. The forms must also accompany a documented negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test taken not earlier than 72 hours before arrival in Malta.
Failure to present a negative PCR test will result in denied boarding."
As of 1st June 2021, for all #Maltese nationals and the islands residents,
"Fully vaccinated Maltese nationals or Malta residency permit holders may present the Maltese vaccination certificate instead of a negative PCR test when returning to Malta.
If upon arrival in Malta, any passenger (aged 5 and older) who is not in possession of a negative PCR result, or a valid Maltese vaccination certificate twill be subject to a mandatory PCR test and/or mandatory quarantine against a fee of EUR140 as per legal notice LN229 of 2021"
Now to todays UK Government review of the safe list of countries, or as I like to call them, the "Green for go" countries!
THERE IS NO CHANGE
Well to be more accurate, the list has actually shrank as #Portugal has been removed and added into Amber.
Again I'm not at all shocked as I feel the Government will want to adhere (if they can) to our own scheduled "Freedom Day" of 21 June.
I've thought for quite some time now that a more realistic schedule for the further cautious opening of international travel would be late summer, i.e. August/September.
As by then we will know the full impact that reopening has had without the added risk of any imported new variants.
We must simply,
And remember, again, this too is not set in stone.
The traffic light system will be reviewed through a series of checkpoints. Further review dates are, the 28th of June, 19th of July and the 9th of August.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said as he opened #England to international travel back on the 17th of May that,
"The government is committed to giving people the freedom to travel with confidence and supporting the wider travel industry."
For now, the following rules will still apply when returning to #England,
Before you travel to England you must:
present a negative COVID-19 test
book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests – to be taken after arrival in England
complete an online passenger locator form
On arrival in England you must:
quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
(Children aged 4 and under do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test.)
You may be able to end quarantine early at day 5 if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
My glass is eternally half full and as such I choose to remain #hopeful, #positive and #optimistic!
I hope you will all join me in keeping the #faith! (sorry couldn't resist 😉😅)
Before I sign off today, I'd really like to leave you with a little insight into my background, as I'm pretty sure you're wondering "who is this bird, what does she know" 😅
Well, I do have just a teeny tiny bit of #knowledge 😉 as I've worked in the #travel and #aviation sector for over 30 years.
My background is in both corporate and leisure travel, and more recently working as a senior sales executive for one of the world's largest airlines.
Add to this my knowledge of the Maltese islands, which I have visited for over 40 years.
If you asked me how many times I've touched down in Malta, I actually couldn't tell you, but I do know that it's certainly well into treble figures.
My travel blogs are all factual, however, I will always give my personal thoughts based upon past experience and my knowledge of the travel trade.
This is a fluid situation, and any information included in a blog post is valid at the time that blog post goes live.
(For ease of navigation, each of my travel blogs contains a "published" date)
I hope that this added information helps and gives you a little more information about the "bird behind the blog" 😅
Until next time my lovelies, take care and stay safe