On April 16, the Ministry of Health confirmed 412 cases of COVID-19 in Malta.
As of March 27, U.S. Embassy Malta 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.
On April 9, the Maltese government announced a voluntary repatriation assistance scheme for foreign nationals, subsidizing flights for those who wish to return to their home country. A nominal fee will apply to all bookings. Individuals who book a seat for a fight but do not turn up will incur the full cost of the flight. Foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, who wish to repatriate to their home country are asked to register their interest online at https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/en/Government/Pages/Repatriation-Form.aspx by Sunday, April 19th. Those interested may call a dedicated helpline at +356 2204 2800 Monday – Friday from 8:00 – 17:00 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The dates of these flights will be announced over the coming weeks. You can also find more information about the repatriation assistance scheme at the Maltese Covid-19 Info Page here.
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.
The Malta International Airport suspended all inbound flightson March 20. Air Malta suspended all commercial flights departing after 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 may change subject to demand. Selected flights from the outbound only schedule will be available for individuals to book online at 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:
- As of April 3, travel between Malta and Gozo is 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.
- As of 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, 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. Exceptions may also be granted on a case by case basis by the Maltese Superintendent for Public Health.
- Those living in the same home as the above-mentioned persons may go to work, shop for essential items, attend medical appointments, and exercise child visitation rights.
- Public gatherings of three or more people are banned, and people must leave a distance of at least two meters space between each other. Those who violate this order are subject to a €100 fine. This rule does not apply to members of the same family who live in the same household.
- 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
Ta’Qali National Park
Attard, ATD 4000
Phone number (business hours) +356 2561 4000
Phone number (after hours) +356 2561 4000
State Department – Consular Affairs: 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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