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Malta has reopened – but UK travellers face quarantine on their return

The country’s government will now welcome tourists from across Europe and 16 other countries around the world

Huw Oliver

With their distinctive brightly painted blue balconies, the cobbled streets of Maltese capital Valletta look dashing at any time of year. But few sensations beat traipsing round its unusual historic centre in high summer, traditional lemon and almond ice cream in hand.

Sound pretty far-fetched? Well, if you’re from Europe or 16 other countries outside the continent, it turns out you could actually be jetting off to the Mediterranean island right now.

From July 1, the country became the latest of many to announce it was reopening its borders to visitors, and it is constantly reassessing its list of ‘safe’ countries tourists can travel from.

Currently, residents and citizens of EU and Schengen-travel-zone countries are now allowed in for tourism purposes. The country is also welcoming visitors from the following nations outside Europe: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China, Lebanon, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Jordan.

British travellers are also allowed in, but from tomorrow (August 15), they will be subject to a mandatory quarantine on their return to the UK. Malta is one of six countries, including France and the Netherlands, which were removed from the list of quarantine-free ‘travel corridors’ late last night due to rising numbers of cases.

There will be no quarantine in Malta for Brits and travellers from those other ‘safe’ countries, but anyone travelling from somewhere not on the country’s official ‘green list’ will still be subject to a 14-day self-isolation period.

First it was Portugal, then Italy, then Greece. Now Malta is open for business. How will we decide where to bliss out by the beach – and neck the ice creams – this summer?

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

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