Malta fears it could be removed from the UK government’s list of “safe” destinations due to the high number of infected migrants inflating the destination’s Covid-19 figures.
The Mediterranean island currently features on the Department for Transport’s “air corridors” list, which means there is no need to quarantine for 14 days on holidaymakers’ return to the UK.
Malta also has an exemption from the Foreign Office’s blanket advice against all non-essential travel.
Malta Tourism Authority sought to offer assurances about the Covid situation in the destination following the coastguard’s rescue of more than 100 migrants who have tested positive for the coronavirus and are now being treated.
“Aside from the migrant cases, we had 20 new cases on 5 August and have traced the source of these,” said the tourist authority.
“We want to make sure that Maltese citizens and tourists feel safe in Malta and ensuring that we continue testing, as well as contact tracing and quarantining where necessary is key to our efforts to manage this virus.
“It is the right and humanitarian thing to rescue boats of migrants in the Mediterranean sea, however this obviously affects the number of new cases in Malta overall and it would be very unfair if we were penalised for answering their distress signal.”
Malta has a range of protocols in place including social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, temperature checks and thermal screening at all entry ports.
The tourism authority added: “We trust that all governments will analyse the figures intelligently and we are open to all discussions to ensure that we can mitigate any concern.”