Malta is one of the European countries that continue to keep in place some of the strictest restrictions in order to protect public health and avoid an upsurge in new COVID-19 cases.
The Maltese authorities have continually advised against travel outside the country as well as have banned entry for all persons who pose a risk to the country’s population.
Malta currently adopts its own national classification of risk areas, meaning that travel restrictions within the country are not based on the common “EU Traffic Lights” map.
As such, entry restrictions in Malta generally depend on whether the traveller is entering the country from an area placed in the red or dark red category, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
At the moment, Malta permits entry only to persons who hold a vaccination certificate indicating that the holder has been immunised with a vaccine that is approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Certificates that prove recovery from the virus are not accepted.
Countries Placed on Malta’s Red List
Known best for keeping some of the most stringent rules within the EU, Malta has placed the majority of European countries on the red list. This means that unvaccinated travellers arriving from an EU country that is placed on the red list need to follow strict entry restrictions.
Currently, Malta’s red list includes the following EU countries:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Vatican City State
Except for the EU countries mentioned above, tens of third countries are also part of Malta’s red list. The full list is as follows:
- Cayman Islands
- Cape Verde
- China (including Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Rules & Restrictions for Arrivals From Red-Listed Countries
The Maltese authorities have announced that persons who wish to enter from an EU or third country that is part of the red list need to provide a completed Public Health Travel Declaration and Passenger Locator Form as well as hold a valid vaccination certificate.
In order for a vaccination certificate to be considered valid in Malta, it should indicate that the holder has been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson.
Mixed vaccine doses are also recognised as valid proof of immunity as long as the doses follow the required time frame.
In addition, it has been noted that travellers arriving from an EU Member State or Schengen Area country are permitted entry only if they hold a valid vaccination certificate that the superintendent of Public Health recognises.
“Persons may travel to Malta from the countries listed hereunder provided they are in possession of: a valid vaccination certificate showing that that person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if aged 12years of age or over,” the Government’s statement reads.
Apart from the EMA-approved vaccines, the Maltese authorities previously announced that travellers who have been vaccinated with an WHO-approved vaccines can also enter the country. However, they need to prove that they have taken a booster shot that is accepted by EMA.
Which Countries’ Vaccination Certificates Are Recognised in Malta?
Malta does not accept vaccination certificates from every country, meaning that only persons holding a certificate issued by specific countries can enter the latter’s territory.
According to the Maltese authorities, only the following vaccines certificates are recognised:
- The vaccination certificate of Malta issued by the Ministry of Health
- The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate issued by EU/EEA, and non-EU countries connected to the gateway, including Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Moldova, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and Vatican City
- The Arab Republic of Egypt COVID-19 vaccine certificate
- The Australian COVID-19 Digital Certificate
- The Republic of Azerbaijan Vaccination card
- The Kingdom of Bahrain Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Certificate
- The Government of Bermuda Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
- The Canadian COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
- The Official Chile’s Digital Vaccination Certificate
- COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate of Colombia
- The Iraq COVID-19 Vaccination Card
- The Gibraltar, Jersey, and Guernsey vaccination certificate
- The Japanese – Vaccination Certificate of COVID-19
- The Republic of Kosovo Ministry of Health Vaccination Card
- The State of Kuwait Ministry of Health SARS-COV-2 Vaccination Certificate
- The Lebanese COVID-19 vaccination record card
- The Libyan COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
- The Malaysian COVID-19 Digital Certificate
- The Vaccination Certificate of Oman
- The Palestinian Ministry of Health Vaccination Certificate
- Qatar’s COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
- Rwanda’s COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
- The Saudi Arabia vaccine certificate
- The Ministry of Health, Singapore Vaccination Certificate
- The South Korean COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate
- The UAE Al Hosn vaccine certificate
- The UAE Vaccine certificate issued by the Dubai Health Authorities
- The United States CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
In regard to unvaccinated travellers arriving from a red-listed country, the authorities have emphasised that they are subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement. The quarantine expenses should be covered by travellers themselves.
Rules & Restrictions for Arrivals From Dark Red-Listed Countries
The countries that were not mentioned in the red list fall into the dark red list of Malta. Taking into account the high infection rates that the countries placed in this list have registered, travel from these areas is only allowed in certain limited circumstances if followed by authorisation.
As such, to enter Malta from a dark red-listed country, the following documents are required:
- Authorisation obtained from the Maltese Public Health Authorities
- A negative COVID-19 test result carried out within 72 hours before arrival
- Completed Health Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form; the forms must be completed between 72 hours and three hours before boarding
Except for the above-mentioned requirements, persons arriving from a country placed on the dark red list must follow self-isolation and testing rules. They are required to remain in isolation for 14 days and undergo a second test after the 11th day of quarantine.
What Is Open for Tourists in Malta?
Like in other European countries, most public places are open in Malta, including bars, restaurants, and cafes.
However, when in public areas, only a maximum of six persons from the same household is allowed to sit together. Groups of over six persons risk a €300 fine each unless they keep a distance of two metres.
Museums, theatres, and other cultural sites are also welcoming visitors. Malta International Airport has revealed that during all the days of the week, except for Tuesdays, the following museums and sites are open from 10 am until 4:30 pm:
- The National Museum of Archaeology
- The Palace Armoury
- Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
- Fort St Angelo
- St Paul’s Catacombs
- Skorba and Ta’ Ħaġrat Temples
- Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum
- Ġgantija Temples
- Ta’ Kola Windmill
“Anyone who has taken both doses of the vaccine, or received the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and has been fully vaccinated for 14 days, in possession of a vaccine certificate, will be able to stay without a mask in open public places in groups of two,” the statement of Malta International Airport reads.
Vaccination Passport of Malta
Malta is already connected to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate gateway, meaning that the country accepts and issues at least one of the certificates. Thereby, Maltese citizens, as well as residents of other countries that hold the certificate, can travel freely within the EU and Malta without having to follow stringent rules.
The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate is a single-page document that can be obtained in paper or digital format. Other features of the document are as follows:
- Free of charge
- Safe and secure
- Issued in national language and English
- Widely recognised in the EU
Travel Insurance – A Must When Travelling During COVID-19 Pandemic
Holidaymakers who plan to visit Malta or any other European country amid the COVID-19 pandemic are highly encouraged to purchase extended travel insurance packages that cover epidemic and pandemic situations.
Such a purchase ensures that travellers can get their money back if their trip gets cancelled due to an unpredicted upsurge in Coronavirus cases.
COVID-19 Situation & Vaccination Rate in Malta
Based on the most recent figures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), as of November 16, Malta has identified 38,202 COVID-19 infection cases, with 32 new cases reported only during the last 24 hours. Apart from that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has reported 462 deaths related to Coronavirus health implications.
As for the vaccination rate, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has shown that around 81.2 per cent of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated, whereas 82.2 per cent have only taken the first vaccine dose.
NOTE: This article was originally published on August 26. Since then, the same has been continuously updated with the most recent changes. The last changes to the article were made on November 16, in line with the most recent updates of the Maltese authorities.