Updated 5.30pm with first flight details.

Air Malta said on Tuesday it will operate a limited number of flights between Italy and Malta to repatriate stranded travellers.  

The flights will also be used to carry urgent medical supplies for hospitals, as well as cargo.

Early on Tuesday, the government issued a ban on all flights to and from Italy following a lockdown of the country enforced by the Italian government in a bid to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The flights have been suspended until further notice.

Air Malta said the repatriation will be coordinated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Residents can call +356 22042 200 or email sitcen.mfea@gov.mt for information. 

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, who is responsible for the airline, said on Facebook that Air Malta will fly to Rome at 6pm on Tuesday to repatriate Italian residents stuck in Malta and bring back Maltese travellers.  There will be a second flight to and from the Italian capital on Wednesday. 

"We are currently experiencing a high volume of contacts through all our communication channels. All our staff are doing their best to handle each enquiry as quickly as possible. We kindly request that you do not attempt to contact us unless due to travel WITHIN THE NEXT 7 DAYS.

The passengers will be asked to observe a two-week quarantine.

Anyone stuck in Italy and needing to get back to Malta may contact the Foreign Affairs Ministry on 22042200 or email sitcen.mfea@gov.mt

Travellers can also keep updated through Air Malta’s website and social media channels.

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