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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
9:00 AM 3rd July 2020

MALTA Throws Down Red Carpet

Malta will lift restrictions on all flight arrivals including the United Kingdom, from July 15th

Flights will resume from 18 UK airports with routes operated by Air Malta, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair, ensuring that visitors are welcomed back to Malta, Gozo and comino for leisure and business trips.

However, visitors are still encouraged to follow their own government guidance at the time of travel.

Like the rest of the world, the Maltese islands experienced lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic for several months. The government of Malta was quick to respond, shutting the airport to commercial passenger flights on 20th March 2020. This decisive strategy has been universally acknowledged as integral to protecting lives, with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland commenting that Malta had ‘done the best in the whole of Europe’ in dealing with the pandemic.

Speaking about the reopening of borders, Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority, said: “Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers. 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.”

Safety remains a key focus on the Maltese islands and a number of new protocols are being implemented to ensure visitors are kept safe.

Experience on Arrival
Though a swab test will not be required upon arrival, there will be thermal screening at Malta International Airport and all arriving passengers will be asked to complete a self-declaration form to share details about any travel in the previous 30 days. Arriving and departing tourists will be required to wear a face covering or visor in the terminal building - this also applies to coach transfers from and to the plane.

Transportation
Public transport in Malta and Gozo is operating normally. Clear guidelines are in place that ensure frequent aeriation and total disinfection of buses and coaches. If travelling by taxi, the vehicle will be sanitised after every trip and rental vehicles will be deep cleaned after every return.

Accommodation and Dining
All accommodation and dining providers must comply to Maltese Government protocols devised to safeguard the safety of guests and employees. Malta Tourism Authority will inspect accommodation before it is certified to reopen, with approved businesses awarded a Certified Compliant sticker to display and 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.

Experiencing Malta
Malta is ensuring travellers can still enjoy the island’s culture, history, landmarks and beautiful scenery with daily beach cleans, more frequent cleaning of public amenities, and 2m distance between sunbeds and umbrellas. 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.