Malta has reopened its borders to American tourists – but only on a state-by-state basis.
The Mediterranean island country announced as of June 17 that 38 U.S. states and territories to its "Amber list."
Travel to and from the U.S. is limited to 38 states – excluding Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Citizens of both D.C. and Puerto Rico are also permitted to visit Malta.
But travelers from approved states still must follow a few precautions before their vacations.
Passengers arriving from countries on the Amber list are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flights. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Malta. Travelers who do not submit a test must quarantine for 14 days.
Vaccination status does not permit travelers to bypass the mandatory test at this time.
The announcement is "another step forward for Malta's Tourism Sector, which is breathing life again, after COVID-19 restrictive measures were relaxed, slowly and gradually, keeping everyone's health and safety as a topmost priority, together with ensuring that Malta still has all the right ingredients for everyone to Feel Free Again," Johann Buttigieg, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. "Malta looks forward to welcoming back Americans, one of our strongest inbound markets."
Malta has earned status as the first country in the European Union to achieve herd immunity status against COVID-19 back in May. About 70% of Malta's adult population has received at least one vaccine and more than 50% are now fully vaccinated. The country is still operating with slight pandemic restrictions, including limited numbers of people at restaurant tables and a midnight closing at clubs.
Malta is one of the European countries trying to lure back tourists this summer. The country has launched a scheme to pay visitors who book at least a three-night stay at three- to five-star hotels. Visitors can earn up to $238 for booking three nights at a five-star hotel and those who visit the island of Gozo can earn an additional 10% incentive on top of that.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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