Malta reopens to tourism in July

Malta will reopen its airport to passenger flights on 1 July in order to restart tourism brought to a halt during the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Robert Abela said on Sunday. Tourism accounts for almost a quarter of Malta's economy and hoteliers have been pressing the government to reopen the airport or risk mass unemployment.

The Mediterranean island has recorded some 600 coronavirus cases and nine deaths, having carried out an intensive testing and contact tracing program. Non-essential shops and restaurants were allowed to reopen in mid-May, but churches on the Roman Catholic island and schools remain closed. Bars and gyms will reopen on Friday.

"These are exciting time for Malta. We are returning to normality," Abela said adding the government will also announce a budget on 8 June with the aim of encouraging consumption and investment. The budget is normally announced in October. The government has been paying €800 per month per employee in order to discourage layoffs in companies impacted by the virus and says it will maintain the scheme until the economy picks up again.

Tourism authorities are negotiating 'safe corridors' for travel with countries which have low COVID-19 numbers, including Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Israel. They have not yet given the green light for travelers from Britain, which traditionally has close tourism ties to Malta.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • Greece to curb right to protest

    Greece to curb right to protest

    Public sector workers walked off their jobs last Wednesday in defence of Greeks' right to protest, as parliament began debating a government bill to place restrictions on the country's frequent street demonstrations, news wires reported. During long debt crisis, which began in late 2009 and led to three international bailouts, Syntagma Square outside parliament became the scene of massive anti-austerity protests.

    14
  • Catalonia makes mask-wearing mandatory in all public spaces

    Catalonia makes mask-wearing mandatory in all public spaces

    Catalan President Quim Torra announced on Wednesday that from Thursday, 9 July, wearing a face mask will be compulsory in all public spaces in the region, regardless of the safety distance. So Catalonia becomes the first autonomous community in Spain to make face masks compulsory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces at all times.

    38