Malta has been added to the United States's "very high risk" travel list together with several other coutries amid fears over the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

The US Centres Disease Control and Prevention added a total of 16 countries to its red list, including Malta. 

"Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel," the CDC has urged. 

All air passengers travelling to the US, including citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight into the country. 

US-issued COVID-19 vaccination cards started being recognised in Malta in July, with digital verification of such cards beginning on Sunday. 

Those who travel without a vaccine certificate must quarantine for 14 days at a goverment-chosen hotel at a cost of €1,400. 

Those with residences in Malta can ask for permission to quarantine at home although the decision is taken on a case by case basis by the Superintendent of Public Health.

In recent weeks, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also placed Malta on its red list, meaning travel to the island was not encouraged. The island's inclusion on the list came as the number of new COVID-19 cases surged in July. 

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