As Malta prepares for the official opening of the tourism season, Covid-19 cases remained at a low level. Only two new cases were reported yesterday following 1,722 swab tests, while four persons have recovered from the virus. 66 persons are currently positive with the virus. Meanwhile, a legal notice makes it obligatory that, from 1 June, travelers to Malta from countries in the amber list are to present a negative Covid-19 test or a certificate showing that the person is completely vaccinated.
Speaking to Television Malta, the President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, Tony Zahra, stated that he expects a very good tourist season in summer although not in the pre-pandemic levels.
“I think that if we manage to bring 60% of the 2019 numbers, month by month, period by period, we will make a great success”.
Mr Zahra stated that as restrictions started being eased, bookings for Malta holidays during summer increased. “We are seeing destinations, such as Germany and France, going very good; good bookings are coming in from Italy and then there are other countries such as The Netherlands and Denmark with good bookings. Our disappointment is the U.K. which kept us on the amber list”.
He confirmed that the incoming type of bookings follows the same trends of two years ago. Many tourists are booking an average of seven nights in Malta in all hotels and tourist accommodation grades.
Asked about business in restaurants, Mr Zahra said the majority were very satisfied since their re-opening, despite the challenges due to lack of workers, which may be solved in the coming weeks. He added that the country cannot afford to close again.
From June 1, travelers to Malta by air and sea from the amber list countries have to present two declarations regarding health and where they were. No one will be allowed on a plane or ship with a Malta destination if the person does not present a covid-19 negative test, carried out not more than 72 hours before arrival in Malta or a valid certificate which shows that the person was fully vaccinated.
Anyone arriving in Malta without one of these documents will undergo a Covid-19 test and placed in mandatory quarantine until the test result is issued. The legal notice says that those undergoing tests will pay for the test.
During the summer months, the Malta International Airport is expected to welcome 20 airlines which will link Malta with 90 destinations. An airport spokesperson recalled that the operation of certain routes and airlines depend on the removal of existing restrictions.