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Malta to scrap major Covid quarantine rule for unvaccinated UK tourists from next week

The Mediterranean island is easing travel restrictions for UK tourists who have not been vaccinated against Covid

Malta travel rules will ease from next week as the island scraps quarantine requirements for British travellers who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

The UK is currently on Malta’s red list meaning unvaccinated travellers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test and quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

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Vaccinated British travellers do not need to quarantine but must show proof that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travelling.

When will rules change?

Restrictions for unvaccinated Brits, and travellers from any other red list country, will change from 11 April, allowing travellers to visit Malta without having to quarantine on arrival.

The rule change will affect more than 100 countries which are currently on Malta’s red list.

Travellers from these countries will still need to present a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival or a recognised Covid recovery certificate not older than 180 days if they are unvaccinated.

Just over 30% of Brits over the age of 12 are not fully vaccinated, and roughly 10% have not had their first dose.

All travellers, whether vaccinated or not, must complete a passenger locator form before heading to Malta, and must have a QR code to show to border control officials.

There are currently no countries or territories on Malta’s green and amber lists, but more than 120 are on the dark red list, which has the strictest travel restrictions in force.

Malta was one of the most popular travel destinations for Brits in 2019

Dark red countries, which include Brazil, Egypt and Mexico among many others, will not be included in the easing of restrictions.

Additionally, from 11 April, travellers from a red list country cannot travel to Malta if they have been in a dark red list country within 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in Malta.

Restrictions have also been eased internally, with the decision made to scrap vaccine passes for standing outdoor events and seated indoor events.

Almost 90% of the Maltese population are fully vaccinated, putting it in the top 10 countries for vaccine uptake worldwide.

The rule changes come amid the Easter holidays, making it easier for UK tourists to travel to Malta for a break in the sun.

Mr Johann Buttigieg, Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Tourism Authority, said: "The Malta Tourism Authority welcomes this announcement which will definitely continue to pave the way forward for the tourism sector to continue recovering after the pandemic.

"Today’s announcement essentially means that persons who, for some reason or other, are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit Malta without the need for mandatory quarantine.

“This is great news for the tourism industry and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to explore the Maltese Islands."

Travel rules easing across Europe

Several other popular holiday destinations have also relaxed Covid travel restrictions in recent weeks.

Greece has scrapped passenger locator forms and is open to unvaccinated passengers who have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel, while France is also welcoming unvaccinated Brits who can provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours.

However, travel restrictions are subject to rapid change during the pandemic as infection rates vary and medical advice changes.

It is advisable to check the latest Foreign Office travel advice for your intended destination before booking or embarking on a trip.