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Malta to welcome vaccinated UK tourists from June

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Malta has become the latest country to announce it will welcome the return of British tourists this summer.

The small island nation in the Mediterranean said UK travellers who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be allowed to enter from June 1.

Passengers will need to show their vaccination card before boarding flights, according to the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA).

Around 500,000 British tourists normally visit Malta every year.

But the UK is on Malta’s red list of countries, which means non-vaccinated travellers are banned from entering.

Tolene Van Der Merwe, director for the UK and Ireland at MTA, said: “Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers and is a key contributor to Malta’s economy, so we are excited to welcome back fully vaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom from 1 June.

“The people of Malta are looking forward to tourists returning who have loved our sunshine, culture, food and warm spirit year in, year out.”

Malta is second to the UK in terms of European countries which have vaccinated the largest proportion of their population.

Clayton Bartolo, Malta’s minister for tourism and consumer protection, said: “The health and safety of Maltese citizens and tourists will always be our top priority, and, with the continued rollout of the vaccine here in Malta, this focused reopening plan is designed to slowly and safely reopen tourism to fully vaccinated Britons.”

A number of other destinations popular with UK holidaymakers have announced plans to reopen their borders in recent weeks.

Turkey expects to welcome UK holidaymakers without requiring proof of a vaccine or negative test, as soon as foreign leisure travel is permitted.

Greece will require international tourists to have been vaccinated, had a recent negative Covid-19 test or have coronavirus antibodies.

Visitors to Cyprus must have had both doses of a vaccine.

Overseas holidays in the UK are banned due to the coronavirus lockdown, but Boris Johnson will make an announcement on Monday about lifting restrictions.

The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on April 12 setting out recommendations for how and when foreign holidays can resume.

Under England’s road map for easing pandemic rules, the earliest that overseas leisure travel could be permitted is May 17.

But there is growing speculation that that date could be pushed back as parts of Europe are seeing rising infections.

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