Last Updated on Thursday, 24 June, 2021 at 10:24 pm by Andre Camilleri
The United Kingdom has added Malta to its green travel list, with the British government revealing the news on Thursday night.
The Maltese government responded with a statement on Thursday night stipulating that only those with a vaccination certificate recognised by Malta’s Public Health Superintendent will be allowed to enter the country without a observing a quarantine period.
The decision, the Health Ministry said, was taken on the basis of a epidemiological study on the situation with regards to the Covid-19 variants reported in the UK.
Malta was the only European country to be added to the green list, with the Balearic Islands and Madeira being the only other European territories added.
Malta being put on the green list means that travellers will not have to face a period of self-isolation or quarantine period upon their return. They do still however have to do a swab test before returning to the UK.
The new list comes into force on Wednesday 30 June at 4am (GMT).
Northern Ireland was the first to announce Malta’s addition to the green list, with Scotland and England following suit within the hour.
Malta’s inclusion comes at the third review of the travel list, after the country was excluded from the first two lists in the past months – with some pointing at the notion that it was a politically-motivated decision rather than a scientific one.
The decision will no doubt prove to be a boon for the touristic industry, given that the UK was already Malta’s biggest incoming tourist market and also given that Malta is essentially the only European destination that the British can travel to without facing a period of self-isolation when they return home.
It does however come amidst increased concern on an increase in Covid-19 cases. Just today, UK health authorities reported over 16,000 new cases of the virus, most of which are of the far more transmissible Indian Delta variant – the circulation of which has thus far been largely curbed in Malta.
Health authorities are acting to try and mitigate the spread of the variant: on Thursday The Malta Independent reported that some 7,000 people had had their appointment for the second dose of their AstraZeneca moved forward by three weeks, with the intention here being that full protection of the vaccine is given as soon as possible.