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Malta has been removed from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) advisory red list for international travel after cases plateaued in recent weeks.

In the most recent iteration of the list, which classifies countries based purely on their 14-day COVID case rate per 100,000 people (as well as positivity rates), rather than taking into account vaccine rates and virus variants, the country passed the threshold to be classed as an orange country.

The country was first placed on the red list in mid-July, as its COVID case numbers sharply increased.

Currently though, daily case numbers are firmly down and seem to be stable below 100. According to the ECDC, in the 14 days before Sunday, the number of new COVID cases per 100,000 people in Malta stood at 182.87.

This compares favourably to the EU average which is just over 205 per 100,000.

However, despite the good news, Malta’s 14-day death rate is significantly above the EU average of 7.4 per million inhabitants, standing at 15.55.

It is worth considering though, that there is generally a delay between spikes in new cases and deaths, and the number of deaths in recent weeks could be a delayed effect of high cases in the weeks prior.

Malta’s reclassification will have no direct impact on travel rules with other EU countries, as the list is purely advisory.

In terms of travel into Malta, the country has some of the most stringent rules in the EU.

Currently dictating that all travellers have been fully vaccinated against COVID, or that they isolate at a designated hotel at their own expense, health authorities will hope that the restrictions will keep COVID cases under control in one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.

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