Borders with more countries re-open – passengers from 50 countries can now enter Malta
From Wednesday, Malta made another step in its return to a new normal as it removed travel restrictions to and from another 28 countries. This follows the step made two weeks ago when the airport re-opened for commercial flights to and from 22 countries.
The Supt of Public Health, Prof Charmaine Gauci said she was pleasantly surprised that with the airport open, no other imported case has been found while the number of active cases has gone down to just four.
For the sixth day in a row, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 in Malta and active cases have gone down to four after another person recovered. The Health authorities said that between Tuesday and Wednesday almost 1000 swab tests have been carried out.
Prof Gauci said this is a very encouraging trend however Malta cannot declare that it is completely virus-free.
“The best thing we can have is a vaccine but from studies we are seeing we are still months away from having this vaccine, so each one of us needs to do our best to protect ourselves but also to protect others,” she said.
Prof Gauci said that the rate of transmission in Malta is still low at 0.3 as it was when the travel ban was first lifted. She said that she is actually very satisfied that two weeks from the re-opening of the international airport to 20 European destinations, no imported case have been reported.
“This confirms the fact that when we opened to these countries we saw that, as recommended by the EU, we started opening slowly with cautious steps and chose those places where the R.O factor was not very high,” she continued.
She said that these principles were once again what guided the authorities in their decision to announce the list of destinations where travel restrictions have been lifted, which has now been increased to 50 countries.
Prof Gauci said that although the EU has issued a list of countries considered to be safe for travel, Malta made its own evaluation and felt that there are some countries outside of the EU which because of a spike in their number of cases, it was not wise to open up travel to and from these destinations.
Speaking about citizens coming back from countries not on this list, Prof Gauci said they require special permission from her office and will be subject to various conditions.
“In this case we have a protocol which includes having a swab test before they come, and having to go into quarantine and be tested again when they are in Malta,” she said.
In order to ensure that people who are in quarantine remain indoors for the full 14 days on their arrival to Malta, Prof Gauci said that inspectors from the Environmental Health Directorate will still be carrying out random inspections.
No new cases of COVID-19 in Malta