Malta plans July 15 reopening for tourism

Malta is lifting restrictions on all flight arrivals including the UK from July 15.

Air Malta, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair aim to resume services from 18 UK airports.

The Malta Tourism Authority UK trade team has created an online  reopening course for agents including eight modules covering arrival, a ‘certified compliant’ concept, dining, accommodation and getting around.

Arriving passengers will be asked to complete a self-declaration form to share details about any travel in the previous 30 days.

Tourists will be required to wear a face covering or visor in the terminal building – this also applies to coach transfers to and from aircraft.

Accommodation and dining providers must comply to Maltese government protocols devised to safeguard the safety of guests and employees.

The guidelines include maintaining social distancing of 2m, increased levels of hygiene and the wearing of masks or visors by staff.

Daily beach cleans, more frequent cleaning of public amenities, and 2m distance between sunbeds and umbrellas are planned.

Social distancing and hygiene protocols will also be in place at beaches, swimming pools, shops, museums and attractions.

Travellers will be asked to wear a face covering in certain locations or indoor places where social distancing cannot be followed.

The Malta Tourism Authority will inspect accommodation before it is certified to reopen, with approved businesses awarded a ‘Certified Compliant’ sticker to display. Audits will be carried out periodically to ensure standards are adhered to.

Buffets and self-service counter dining are no longer on offer in the archipelago.

British visitors are being encouraged to follow their own government guidelines and Foreign Office advice at the time of travel.

The Maltese government was quick to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, shutting the island’s airport to commercial passenger flights on March 20.

Malta Tourism Authority UK and Ireland director Tolene Van Der Merwe said: “Malta is very popular destination for British holidaymakers with nearly 650,000 arriving in 2019.

“We are delighted that we should be able to welcome back travellers from the United Kingdom on 15th July if the FCO advice has been amended by that date.

“Our streets have been too quiet recently and the people of Malta are keen to welcome back tourists who have loved our sunshine, culture, food and warm spirit year in, year out.”

Van Der Merwe added: “Around a quarter of all arrivals to Malta are from Britain which makes it an important market for our tourism sector and we are so grateful for the support of our airline, tour operator and travel agent partners who helped us share Malta with so many people.

“We’ve been working with the trade during lockdown to deliver as much training as possible and look forward to supporting them still once lockdown lifts with lots of planned incentives, training and even trips.

“And whilst our islands have been closed, we have been busy – from restoring monuments, to erecting our new Michelin star plaques – making sure that when everyone returns, we wow people even more than before.”  

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