The Malta Ministry of Health on April 1 confirmed 19 new cases of COVID-19 in Malta, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 188.
As of March 27, 2020, U.S. Embassy Malta has suspended non-emergency U.S. citizen and visa services. U.S. citizens in Malta who require assistance should contact the Embassy using the contact information at the end of this Health Alert.
On March 14, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
The government of Malta has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. All bars (excluding take-away), restaurants (excluding deliveries), gymnasiums, clubs, cinemas, tombola halls, schools, childcare centers, universities, and all non-essential shops remain closed until further notice. Shops selling food or medicine, pet shops, banks, post offices and transport services will continue to operate as usual.
Malta airport suspended all inbound flights as of 11:59 p.m. on March 20. Air Malta suspended all commercial flights departing after 11:59 pm on March 20, until further notice, except for a limited number of “lifeline flights” as detailed below.
On March 23, Air Malta began a “lifeline schedule” to facilitate outbound travel for stranded individuals to return to their country of origin. The “lifeline schedule” will operate from Malta to London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. The schedule can be changed subject to demand. Selected flights from the outbound only schedule will be available for individuals to book online on www.airmalta.com or through a travel agent.
U.S. citizens in Malta who want to return to the United States should make arrangements to depart the country through the Air Malta “lifeline schedule.” Interested individuals will also need to book a same-day commercial connecting flight from the transit point to the United States. If you plan to utilize Air Malta’s “lifeline schedule,” please email your complete travel itinerary, full name, and date of birth to ConsularMalta@state.gov.
As previously indicated, the embassy strongly urges those who wish to return to the United States to explore commercial flight options now, as there is no guarantee the U.S. government will be able to arrange evacuation flights if airspace closes. Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel.
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
State local government actions:
- Beginning April 3, travel between Malta and Gozo will be restricted. Only those who have a valid reason to travel will be allowed to board the ferry at the Mġarr and Ċirkewwa terminals. Commuters will only be allowed to use the Gozo Channel ferry service for the following reasons: work, medical, visiting relatives in the hospital, visiting family members, cargo trips, and returning to a residence. All forms of leisure travel are prohibited.
- Beginning March 28, all persons age 65 or older, pregnant women, as well as persons with chronic illness, including: diabetic persons who are dependent on insulin, persons on biological medicines, persons who are facing or who have faced cancer or chemotherapy in the last six months, persons undergoing immunosuppression including those who have had a transplant, persons who have HIV, persons on dialysis, persons who have respiratory illness and who were admitted to hospital in the last year, persons with heart illnesses who have had a medical intervention in the last six months, persons who attend the heart failure clinic, and all persons on oral steroids must remain in their homes. Healthcare workers and people in positions of leadership in essential sectors are exempt from the lockdown rules.
- The only exception for the above-mentioned persons to be able to leave their homes is for medical appointments and emergencies, on obtaining permission from the Maltese Superintendent for Public Health, to buy food, medicines and other necessities, and to attend absolutely essential or urgent needs, including: going to work for a critical reason for a short period of time, exercising child visitation rights, feeding or caring for animals which are located somewhere other than their home, and going to the bank.
- Those living in the same home as the above-mentioned persons are allowed to go to work, to go shopping for essential items, attend medical appointments, and exercise child visitation rights.
- Public gatherings of five or more people are banned, and people must leave a distance of at least two meters space between each other.
- Persons entering Malta from any other country from March 13 onwards must spend 14 days in mandatory self-quarantine.
- The mandatory self-quarantine is enforced through regular police spot-checks. Those who fail to observe the order are subject to a €3,000 fine for each instance the order is breached.
- Persons who test positive for COVID-19 and are ordered to self-quarantine will be fined a €10,000 fine for each instance the order is breached.
- Asymptomatic visitors can choose to undergo mandatory self-quarantine or return to their country of origin as soon as possible.U.S. citizens in Malta who want to return to the United States should make arrangements while outbound flights are still available.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the U.S. Embassy Malta webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Malta.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States
- U.S. Embassy Valletta, Malta
- State Department – Consular Affairs: 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Malta Country Information
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates