Doctors urged tourism-related businesses to be vigilant as Malta prepares for the first tourist arrivals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Medical Association of Malta president Martin Balzan, said his members were concerned about the opening up of borders to tourist arrivals.
While doctors acknowledged that reopening the country to tourists was an economic necessity, it was important that tourism operators took precautions.
“We are aware of the importance of tourism to our economy and so many dependent businesses. But on the other hand, it is very important that we continue to do what we can to ensure public safety and minimise risk,” he said.
Malta’s Luqa airport will reopen to ‘safe corridors’ as of July 1, after it was shut to contain the virus pandemic.
Malta has detailed 21 countries or regions that it will allow travel to from the beginning of July.
However earlier this month, Malta International Airport said airlines were currently offering flights to just nine countries from next month.
Meanwhile, Balzan told reporters that MAM had put forward a suggestion for swabbing of all incoming tourists prior to entry. This, he said, has not been well received.
He said that he had been pleasantly surprised when the reopening of hairdressing salons had not led to any new cases.
Balzan was worried however about reports of overcrowding and lax enforcement on entertainment venues.
He cautioned that the risks to the country would be greater once borders were opened.
“This is why it is important we all follow the public health guidelines,” he said.
The countries Malta will open to from Wednesday
• Poland, with the exception of Katowice;
• Czech Republic;
• Italy, with the exception of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Piemonte;
• France, with the exception of Ile-de-France;
• Spain, with the exception of Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castile and Leon
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