By Fionn Davenport
THE Island of Malta will start welcoming vaccinated tourists to the island from June 1, it was announced by the Malta Tourism Authority. Restriction-free entry will be granted to fully vaccinated visitors, but only on presentation of proof that they have been vaccinated at least 10 days before arriving into the country.
Passengers will need to show their vaccination card when boarding to be accepted to travel.
Non-vaccinated tourists from ‘amber’ countries – which currently includes Ireland – will need to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours before travelling.
Malta is currently second to the UK in terms of European countries vaccinating the greatest proportion of its population, with 40% of the adult population having received its first dose, making the destination a safe choice for future travel.
Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority said: “We are delighted to announce that from the 1st June anyone that is fully vaccinated from the UK for more than 10 days can travel to Malta with no restrictions. Visitors from what is classified as an ‘amber’ country – which currently includes Ireland – that are not vaccinated can travel to Malta as usual with a negative PCR test. It has been a long road to get to this point and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Malta so that they can experience all that the islands have to offer.”
Clayton Bartolo, Malta’s Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection said: “The health and safety of Maltese citizens and tourists will always be our top priority, and with the continued rollout of the vaccine here in Malta, this focused reopening plan is designed to slowly and safely reopen tourism.”
Ahead of the resmption of tourism, Malta Tourism Authority will be launching its new campaign, ‘Feel Free Again.’ The campaign aims to inspire travellers to harness their re-established freedom to plan, book and travel to Malta when the time is right, to once again experience all that the islands have to offer and the feeling of freedom it brings.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association has confirmed that its digital Travel Pass will be available on Apple devices from mid-April, with an Android version to follow.
The digital health app will allow users to securely verify their test and vaccination status and is widely considered to be a key step in the efficient resumption of international travel.
The Travel Pass, which will allow passengers to upload vaccination certificates or negative test results for easy verification by airline and immigration officials, is currently being trialed by a number of airlines, including Singapore Airlines and the gulf carriers.
Virgin Atlantic will trial the app on its London to Barbados service from April 16, and the Bajan authorities have confirmed that they will accept the pass at the border, making it one of the first countries to accept a digital pass instead of paper documentation.
A huge amount of airlines have requested to be on board, according to Reuters.
The team that developed the app is led by Dubliner Andrew Murray Hayden.