The Malta Independent 18 January 2022, Tuesday

Malta’s disappointment: UK will ‘unlikely’ expand green list rapidly

Saturday, 15 May 2021, 10:54 Last update: about 9 months ago

Malta’s chances of moving into England’s green list of countries for safe travel were dealt a blow on Friday as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that a revision was unlikely to happen in the near future.

Johnson said that the UK’s green list countries will not expand very rapidly as England aims to keep the number of Covid-19 cases low, giving great consideration to new variants such as that emanating from India.

“There’s a very limited list, as you know, and we will certainly be making sure that people travelling abroad will be subject to all the tests and constraints to prevent the virus being reimported. That’s why it’s such a tiny list of countries and I don’t expect we will be adding to it very rapidly,” Johnson said.

"We will be maintaining a very, very tough border regime for the foreseeable future." 

Malta was left out of the UK list last week in spite of a rapid decrease in the number of cases. The Maltese government is attempting to re-ignite the tourism industry as from 1 June. The UK is Malta’s biggest market in terms of tourist arrivals, but England’s current policy makes it harder for Britons to decide to come over.

Malta gets around 650,000 British tourists per year, which is more or less one-third of the number of tourists who visit the islands. The second biggest market is Italy, with around 400,000 vistors.

Portugal was the only EU country to make it into Britain's green list, along with Gibraltar, a British overseas territory.

Tiourists from England, Northern Ireland and Wales can visit green list countries without having to quarantine upon their return. Scotland will be introducing its own green list in the coming days.

Malta is on the UK amber list, meaning travellers must self-isolate for 10 days upon their return.  

 

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