Updated on 23.06.2020
The coronavirus or the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. No country or superpower could have ever predicted a disaster of such huge proportion. It has brought about demonstrations, rattled our belief in what we know about viruses and created a huge economic thunderstorm. In Malta, things were no different, or at least at phase value, things look like that anyway. But upon a closer look, you will note that Malta has championed the fight against this pandemic with incredible healthcare preparation and a push to a financial injection to help the struggling economy. In this article, we will not be exploring some particular location or suggest places you can dive, drive or eat. As locals concerned with what this pandemic brought about, our team at Holidays In Malta want to provide you with all you need to know about the coronavirus situation in Malta as it stands. We will try and give you a local perspective so you can rest assured that any decision you make whether to travel to Malta or not, is based on hard facts and truth.
Let’s start with the basic premise.
Health and Economy in Malta
In recent years, Malta has been mentioned on the international stage for a lot of bad reasons. From the murder of renowned journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, to the stagnant corruption that has filtered through every sector. However, having said that, Malta has in the past decade championed two things which are of incredible importance with regards to this pandemic – Malta’s economy prior to the pandemic was doing extremely well. Tourism, iGaming and financial services were providing enough wealth for the Maltese people to enjoy. Now, of course, things will change a bit because of the virus. However, the government has been able to help out businesses through incentives which, so far, seem to be working.
The second sector which Malta can easily boast about it, the healthcare sector. The Maltese enjoy an incredible, free healthcare service which provides professional and efficient services to all. The hospital is practically new, the number of nurses and health care workers is on the increase and the list of free medicines provided for locals is incredibly long.
Why are these two main points important? It’s because having a solid economy and a well-oiled healthcare system is vital in fighting a pandemic.
Information is key
One of the things which helped reassure the public that the Maltese government will be taking this pandemic very seriously is that ever since the virus started in Europe, the health ministry started delivering daily updates on national television.
Professor Charmaine Gauci, the superintendent of Health in Malta, has delivered updates every single day since the beginning of March informing the public on how many swab tests were carried every single day, how many positive cases were found and details o each and every case.
The number of swabs carried each day was close to a thousand and on some dates, it was even more. Luckily, when things started to escalate, the public cooperated and most people obeyed the rules and regulations set by the authorities on social distancing and voluntary quarantine.
Daily updates are now being held online only, not through a press conference like before and on most occasions, none or only a couple of cases are reported.
Did Malta get through a peak yet?
The simple answer to this question is yes. It appears that there were two particular days when Malta registered a high number of cases. On 7 April, the number of positive cases added up to a staggering 52. The number was a shock to the authorities and citizens alike. However, besides that particular day and on another occasion when there were 30 cases in one day, the numbers in Malta were pretty low (between 0 – 14).
A simple search will put your mind to rest because the resent numbers are very, very encouraging. On most of the days, there are no more than 2 cases reported daily.
Unfortunately, those were considered vulnerable like anywhere in the world, were hit the most. So far, Malta registered nine deaths attributed to the virus.
Ok, now that you got the basic, time to answer your questions.
When can I travel to Malta?
It is now official that the Malta International Airport will be welcoming the first guests by 1st July and by 15th July all restrictions are lifted and the country returns to ‘normality’.
Which countries can I travel to from Malta?
Once again, it’s a question of what is being reported against the official announcement. So far it seems that these countries below are considered safe to travel (updated 23.06.2020):
- Czech Republic
- Italy (Depending on region)
- France (Depending on region)
Can I go to a restaurant or bar?
As of late May, yes you can. And luckily it seems that restaurants have managed to adapt and business is slowly picking up. Business owners had to make sure that they are given the green light by the authorities following spot checks and certification provided by the Malta Tourism Authority.
You are not required to wear a mask when you go to eat in a restaurant but the waiters serving are obliged to do so.
Can I go shopping or cut my hair?
Yes, but you are obliged to wear a mask. So get a disposable one or make one yourself and go give that hair some lovin!
What about discos and clubs?
Discos and clubs are open now but are allowed to accommodate not more than 75 people.
Malta wins battle against coronavirus!
Sounds cheesy as, but this is exactly how Malta’s Prime Minister described the situation in his last press conference – Malta has won over the virus. It’s the good news of course although health officials did warn the authorities to be careful. But, speaking from a local’s perspective, the situation is really good at the moment.
As of 7 June (a sunny Sunday when we’re stuck inside simply to write this article for you!), the number of active cases stands at 24.