Chris Fearne COVID-19

Malta has returned to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) red list for travel, as the number of COVID cases in the country continues to increase.

ECDC combined indicator. 15th July 2021

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 a red country.

For Thursday’s list, which considered data from the previous week, Malta’s 14-day case notification rate was at 122 (per 100,000) and its positivity rate stood at 4.08. The criteria for a country to reach the red list is a notification rate between 75 and 200 and a positivity rate above four.

Despite the classification, however, which comes as part of the EU’s proposals for a coordinated approach to travel measures in the bloc, the ECDC classification will have no direct impacts on travel rules.

Rather, EU countries will be able to consider the classification when deciding whether to introduce restrictions on travel from Malta in order to limit the spread of COVID in their own countries.

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 measures will stem the erupting rise in COVID cases in one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.

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