Travel restrictions

Travel restrictions “drying up of international business”

Malta’s Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has blasted Malta’s “draconian quarantines”, calling on authorities to remove COVID-19-related travel restrictions for countries on the red list.

With the lifting of several COVID-19 related restrictions announced by Health Minister Chris Fearne, many local businesses in Malta are now considering a return to normal or near normal operations.

However, the Malta Chamber insisted that more needed to be done. “Some businesses remain severely hampered by what are now excessive travel restrictions,” they wrote in a press release.

In their statement, they referred to a recommendation adopted by the Council of the EU on February 22 which stated that “Member States should allow non-essential travel for vaccinated persons, persons who have recovered from an infection and all persons traveling from a country on the ‘white list’.

The recommendation also argued that action should be taken on a case-by-case basis and based solely on a traveller’s vaccination status, rather than the country of origin.

Most EU countries have adopted the recommendation, but Malta has yet to do so.

“Malta continues to maintain an extensive dark red list of third countries and applies draconian quarantines to arrivals from these countries even if travelers are vaccinated.”

“This makes it impossible to resume business travel to and from third countries. It puts local companies that have contractual obligations or potential new activities in third countries at a disadvantage compared to their EU counterparts.

Liz Barbaro Sant, president of TradeMalta, said she was very concerned about the situation:

“It sends the message that Malta is not open for business and that Maltese companies are reluctant to serve their customers in these countries, which is not the case,” she said.

“Both commercially and diplomatically, this has become unsustainable and is drying up the pipeline of international business prospects for Maltese businesses.”

Do you think that international trade in Malta is threatened by the active travel restrictions related to COVID-19?

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