UK

Malta has been unexpectedly left out of Britain’s ‘Green List’ for safe travel. On Friday afternoon, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced travellers from 12 countries would not need to quarantine on arrival from 17th May.

The ‘Green List’ countries are as follows: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Israel, Portugal – including the Azores and Madeira, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Malta was widely reported as having been expected to be included in the list.  Tour operators will be more than disappointed with the news, when considering that the UK is one of Malta’s largest tourism markets, with 649,624 of Malta’s 2,753,239 tourists coming from the nation in pre-COVID 2019.

The Maltese Government has also targeted it for the launch of an aggressive advertising campaign aimed at attracting tourists to Malta, and tourism experts have said that Malta’s relative safety regarding the spread of COVID will help attract tourists to its shores.

Malta has overtaken the UK in its vaccine rollout programme, and the Government has announced that COVID vaccine registration is set to open for the 30+ age group from last week.

Residents from the UK arriving from the green list countries will not have to quarantine from 17th May, while those on the “amber list”, Malta included, must self-isolate at home for 10 days, but can be released at day five if they get a negative PCR result.

Red list country rules will also remain in place after 17th May, with travellers needing to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

Britain’s travel lists will be reviewed every three weeks, however travellers will reportedly also be able to show a COVID passport  proving they have been vaccinated to avoid quarantine in the country they travel to from the UK.

Malta targets 1st June for its reopening to international tourism, while Brits have largely been banned from travel for much of 2021, with some exceptions.

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