MICE are back in Malta

Over the past 5 weeks, we at Colours of Malta, have hosted 6 groups with a total of 500 people coming from Italy, France, Germany and the UK. Each of our groups stayed at 4 and 5 star hotels and had some great incentive programmes planned out whilst enjoying the warm weather.

It’s been so exciting to see that the Beauty, Finance and Hospitality industries, to mention a few, are back on track, fully energised and investing in their business and employees again.

Learn more about our events on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/coloursofmalta

A step in the right direction for Malta’s Tourism Industry

Malta Tourism Authority welcomes the great news that the Malta International Airport welcomed a total of 418,473 passengers in September, which also marked the first time, since 1999, that September outpaced August in terms of passenger traffic, and the strongest month, in terms of passenger volumes, since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Seat-occupancy levels also remained below pre-pandemic levels, as airlines carried passengers to and from the airport at an average seat load factor of just over 70%.

The recent news published by the Malta International Airport is truly encouraging for the local tourism sector. Notwithstanding the challenging times, Malta managed to strike a balance between the lives and livelihoods of the Maltese people. We will continue working hard to assure that the hospitality industry continues to recover and assure that Malta becomes a home of tourism excellence for the years to come,” remarked Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.

This is great news for Malta, especially given the circumstances which we all have had to live with in the past months, and naturally, it fills us, as an Authority, with a strong sense of positivity, coupled with the right amount of energy, to look forward to ending 2021 and starting 2022 with further positive results. I believe that our marketing efforts, together with the €20m-strong Tourism Recovery Plan which we have laid out together with the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, as well as, the excellent way in which the Health Authorities have handled, and are still handling the pandemic, all played a crucial role in the positive results which we have seen for September. This is also another example of just how important it is for all stakeholders to work together for the greater good, when faced with such an unprecedented crisis,” MTA CEO Johann Buttigieg said.

Malta International Airport also reported that the United Kingdom retained its spot as the top driver of passenger traffic as it continues its path of recovery, with over 108,000 passengers departing or arriving from this destination in September, followed by the Italian, German, French and Spanish markets.

A word of thanks must go to our marketing teams at Head Office, and our teams across Europe and the world for being resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with the management, as one big team, and adapting to the ever-changing situation of the pandemic across various countries and regions. We have used the pandemic to reinvent our marketing strategy, investing in digital media campaigns, to make people feel close to the Maltese Islands, even during the strictest of lockdowns. This has paid off, and is paying off, with the encouraging results which we are seeing. I am sure that with regards to the UK market, we will continue to see further improvement, especially with restrictions being eased further in the UK,” MTA Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, Carlo Micallef added.

Article credits: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/327
Standing events allowed as of 6th September

Standing events are back with a limit of 100 vaccinated attendees while the roll-out of booster doses will begin next month, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said yesterday morning.

Fearne provided the news during an MEIA meeting, more information on the specific structure will be elaborated in the coming days.

Herd immunity reached!

70% of the Maltese population received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine whilst 42% has been fully vaccinated already.

Malta Ranked Third Best Worldwide For Its COVID-19 Testing Rate

Malta is testing more people for COVID-19 per capita than all but two other countries worldwide, a global statistics site has shown, with a rate of 4.81 in terms of daily tests carried out per 1,000 people, as of 17th August. Only the Gulf nations of UAE and Bahrain score better, registering rates of 6.04 and 5.84 respectively, while New Zealand, the United States and the UK are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth.
Luxembourg is ranked seventh with a rate of 1.97, meaning Malta’s current testing rate is more than double that of any other EU member state.

However, Malta scores worse when it comes to the number of tests carried out per confirmed case, coming in 27th place with an infection rate of 72.7. To put it in perspective, New Zealand is ranked first, with 1,873 tests carried out for every positive case, while Myanmar and Latvia are second and third, with scores of 927 and 608.

Questions have been raised over whether it is fair for countries to blacklist Malta as a travel destination seeing as its recent surge in COVID-19 cases came hand in hand with a significant increase in testing. Malta has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, but no COVID-19 related deaths have been confirmed since 29th May.

The government has imposed a number of social distancing restrictions to contain the spread and has enforced the wearing of masks in a number of locations but the country hasn’t gone into quasi-lockdown as it did at the start of the pandemic last March. Meanwhile, several countries, including the UK, have forced people returning from Malta to go into quarantine, a major blow to the island’s tourism industry.

Find the full article here: https://lovinmalta.com/opinion/analysis/malta-ranked-third-best-worldwide-for-its-covid-19-testing-rate/ 
Malta Will Lift Public Health Emergency On 30th June

Malta has set a date for when it will lift its public health emergency, along with other COVID-19 restrictions.

A legal notice signed by Health Minister Chris Fearne, along with Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci, has set 30th of June as the date when Malta will officially repeal its public health emergency.

The legal notice also repeals the closure of schools, suspension of organised events and the 75 person ban on public gatherings.

However, schools are expected to reopen in September as usual.

MALTA International Airport to open its doors soon

The airport will partially reopen on 1st July, with flights operating to and from Italy (except Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, and Piemonte), France (except Ile de France), Spain (except Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, and Castilla y Leon in Spain), Poland (except Katowice), Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czechia, Ireland, and Finland.

Travellers arriving directly from the countries and regions on this list will not be required to observe a 14-day quarantine but will be asked to declare that they had lived in the country of origin for at least four weeks prior to travelling. Guests will also be asked to fill in a passenger locator form, which would enable the health authorities to trace them swiftly should the need arise.

Events up to 75 people can now take place in Malta

The 6 person ceiling on gatherings will be lifted on Friday to allow up to 75 people.

The Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci has confirmed that events can start taking place, but will be capped at 75 people and the social distancing guidelines will still apply.

1st July official opening of airport and port

It’s official our airport and port will open up to incoming tourism as of the 1st of July 2020.

A handful of destinations have been selected, however the official list is expected to be released at the press conference held by the Prime Minister, this evening.

We look forward to welcoming you on our island very soon!

Airport reopening date to be announced in the coming days

As insider-information reaches The Times of Malta yesterday regarding the Malta International Airport to start operating again on the 15th of July, neither Prime Minister Robert Abela nor Superintendant for Public Health, Charmaine Gauci, have confirmed this.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said The Prime Minister will announce the airport reopening date in the coming days. Last Saturday, the government announced the extension of the travel ban until at least June 15, but sources told Times of Malta that the authorities are expected to extend it by another month to make sure all precautions are in place to try to contain the virus.

What has definitely been confirmed by Malta Airport CEO Alan Borg, is that MIA will have to operate with limited winter and summer schedules. To be exact, around 70 of the 120 winter 2020/2021 routes have now been cancelled, as well as some 60 of the 144 summer 2021 routes.

 

 

 

 

 

Malta Tourism Authority about reopening Malta’s tourism infrastructure

The procedures explained in this document have been formulated for a number of tourism establishments and other tourism receiving operations to ensure rigid compliance in the fields of social distancing, enhanced hygienic practices and the minimisation of COVID-19 infection risks by establishments and operations re-opening for domestic and foreign tourism use following their closure earlier this year.

The procedures have been formulated bearing the advice made available by the International and Maltese Health Authorities as well as by drawing from best practice from other tourism receiving countries which is being constantly monitored and updated.

The objective of these procedures is to make these establishments assume self-responsibility and accountability for the introduction of additional measures aimed at addressing this extraordinary situation in a way which enshrines them in their routine, day to day management and operational practices. Enforcement of conditions falls within remit of Malta Tourism Authority and the Health Authorities.

The opening of different types of tourism establishments and attractions will not take place at once but in line with the chronological sequence outlined in the National Transition Strategy.

The introduction of sector-specific mandatory conditions and checklists which need to be completed and signed on a regular basis and the availability of record logs and certificates to complement these checklists will ensure that the highest standards are kept and that a record to assist inspections in checking that commitments which have been signed for by management are being respected and applied.

The available checklists are for:
• Accommodation Establishments (two separate sections for Collective Accommodation and Holiday Furnished Premises)
• Catering Establishments
• Outdoor Establishments including Lidos, Swimming Pools and Outside Entertainment Areas
• Beaches, Beach Establishments and Beach Concessions

The document also contains an appendix with Additional Notes and References for consultation and use by establishments to enable them to keep abreast of developments and guidelines as updated from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Re: PROTOCOLS

Q. When will these new measures come into force?
A. Friday, 22nd May 2020

Q. My restaurant has both indoor and outdoor areas. Where can I serve my patrons?
A. You can serve customers both indoors and outdoors.

Q. What is the maximum number of persons sitting at one table inside or outside?
A. Six. Indoor dining is also restricted, with the number of people inside the premises. This is limited to 1 person for every 4 sqm plus the distance from chair to chair according to the protocol. Outdoor – six can stay on the same table. Chair to chair protocol is different from that of indoor.

Q. Re distance between tables etc at outdoor/indoor facilities?
A. Indoor: the distance from the back of a chair to the back of another the chair behind it shall be 2 metres apart any other direction 3 metres. Outdoor: the distance from the back of a chair to the back of another the chair behind it shall be 1 metre apart any other direction 2 metres.

Q. What about smoking?
A. Smoking is prohibited both inside and outside. Any person that wants to smoke shall do so at least 10 metres apart from the nearest outdoor table.

Q. A COVID-19 compliant sticker? What is this all about?
A. The sticker is a proof that the establishment is compliant with COVID-19 protocols. Therefore the establishment has reached the highest levels of cleanliness and safety. If in the following audits the establishment is found to be non-compliant, the sticker will be removed. Customers are advised to use establishments which have the sticker on display.

Q. What is the definition of outdoor in this context?
A. Covers that are in the openair outside the premises, which are either covered but with no enclosed sides or any internal yard which does not have any form of roofing. Roofs and open balconies are also considered as outdoor.

Q. Can bars that do not serve food operate?
A. No, bars cannot open for drinks only. Snack bars are permitted to open for the time being.

Q. Can I consume drinks while sitting or standing at the bar?
A. No. Owner has to provide a waiter service and bring the drinks to your table. No one is allowed sit/stand at the bar.

Q. Will Clubs (Każini) re-open?
A. Yes. They can serve food, drinks and appetizers at the tables, following the same guidelines that apply for restaurants. If they have a courtyard or outdoor space, they are only to serve in these areas.

Q. Do I need a certification against Legionella?
A. If your premises has been closed for more than a month you are obliged to get certified against Legionella. Further info may be found: Control of Legionella Regulations LN 5 of 2006 http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=16567&l=1

Q. What is the temperature of a person to refuse entry in the premises.
A. The temperature of any person over 37.2 on the forehead should not be allowed to enter the premises.

Q. Can I operate an indoor pool?
A. No. Only outdoor pools can operate.

Q. In toilets shall we use air flow dryers or revolving cloth towels?
A. No, air flow dryers or revolving cloth towels should NOT be used. Only Disposable paper towels (ideally from an automated dispenser) should be used.

Q. How can I keep social distance in lifts?
A. Sign at elevator entrance saying that only people in same party should use elevator together

Q. Can buffet be served?
A. No, only table service can be provided.

Q. Can we use condiments/sauces?
A. Only disposable sauces, or single use servings/bowls. Ideally all cutlery are placed in disposable bags/sleeve.

Q. Can I smoke whilst dining outside?
A. Smoking is NOT permitted neither inside nor outside. Smoking may only take place outdoors at least 10 metres away from any seating area.

Q. Can an establishment open if it does not have the MTA Compliance Sticker?
A. It is recommended that the MTA sticker is displayed before opening.

Q. Can restaurants and snack bars open before inspection, even after Friday 22 May?
A. They need to be compliant with the protocols before opening.

Q. Do premises have to close at 2300hrs?
A. If referring to catering establishments, the last order has to be taken by 2300hrs.

Q. My premises was still operating as a takeaway during these past weeks. It will now open as an indoor restaurant with a small number of tables. Do I need to carry out water certification (for Legionella)?
A. No. This only applies to those premises that were closed and have not used their storage tank water for more than a month.

Q: Regarding Boċċi Clubs: Can patrons actually play the Boċċi game? Is this allowed?
A. Yes. The game of Boċċi is an outdoor activity. It can be played, as long as the number of persons playing is not more than 6.

Q. I have a restaurant/pool. Does the 2m distance apply to people sitting at the same table of a restaurant? In the case of families spending a day by the pool, does the 1-person-per-sunbed rule apply also for children?
A. The 2m distance does not apply for people sitting at the same table, but to adjacent tables. Only one person per sunbed applies also to children. Only babies can stay on the same sunbed.

Q. According to the guidelines. cutlery has to be served in a paper bag, sealed. Can we use stainless steel cutlery or does it have to be single use?
A. You can continue to use the same cutlery as before. The guidelines have recommended that cutlery be placed in plastic bags, paper wrapping or otherwise.

Q. Can a restaurant just cover the hand dryer, without removing it?
A. Yes, they can just cover it properly so that it cannot be used.

Q. At our restaurant we have always washed dishes by hand. Must we invest in a dishwasher?
A. No, as long as dishes are washed thoroughly in hot soapy water and dried using disposable paper towels.

Q. What about diving?
A. Scubadiving is allowed as long as there are no more than 6 persons in the group and that divers use their own equipment.

Q. Where can I get more information?
A. You can contact the MTA’s Helpline on 21692447 or email tourismcovid-19helpline@visitmalta.com

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