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15 Jun 2020 | 06:40 PM UTC

Malta: Authorities announce airports to reopen on July 1 /update 7

Maltese authorities announce airports to reopen on July 1; confirm travel itineraries



Maltese authorities have announced that airports in the country will reopen for passenger flights on July 1, after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Negotiations have been underway with countries reporting low numbers of cases to facilitate travel, as currently all arrivals must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Malta has eased COVID-19 restrictions in recent weeks, with museums, tourist sites, restaurants, bars, hairdressers, and sports facilities reopening, although social distancing measures and caps on capacity must be practiced. Public transport has resumed and restrictions on travel between Malta and Gozo have been eased. The wearing of face masks is mandatory on public transport and in shops. Public gatherings of more than 75 people remain banned.

As of Monday, June 15, authorities have confirmed 650 cases of COVID-19 in the country and nine associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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