Malta is suspending all inbound flights by the end of the week, according to an official notice issued overnight.
“Based on a decision taken by the Malta health authorities, all passenger flights inbound to Malta are temporarily suspended,” the notice states.
As to what regards the time-frame, the notices further states that flights departing before 23.59UTC on the 20th March 2020 are exempted, effectively meaning that flights are suspended from Saturday 21st. The ban does not apply to ferry flights, cargo flights, humanitarian flights, and repatriation flights, while Maltese authorities may in special cases exempt individual flights.
Malta International Airport has issued a statement about the matter where it appealed to passengers who were planning on travelling in the coming days to contact their respective airlines for more information about their flights. Airline contact details may be found at this link here: https://www.maltairport.com/passenger/flights-landing/airlines/.
As of 21 March 2020, Malta International Airport will remain operational to facilitate the arrival and departure of cargo, humanitarian, and ferry flights until further notice.
The Company reminded people to refrain from visiting the airport unless they are travelling in order to limit crowding and allow for social distancing to be observed, and help it in its efforts to safeguard the well-being of travelling guests and airport employees, which remains its priority.
“Saturday will be a dark day for the local aviation industry and all stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to ensure the industry’s growth and success over the past years. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for us to work together with government and all industry players to see the local aviation industry through these trying times,” said Malta International Airport CEO Mr Alan Borg.
Meanwhile, in a Legal Notice issued late last night, the Superintendent of Public Health has extended the closure of schools for students and educators until the Superintendent, by notice in the Gazette, repeals the order for the closure of schools.
In a statement issued by the Government of Malta, it has been confirmed that schools are to remain closed until the end of the Easter Holidays, which end on the 17th April 2020. The statement said that closer to the 17th April the suspension date could be revised following consultation with the Health Authorities.
In a separate Legal Notice, the list of establishments to be closed has been duly published. The Superintendent of Public Health has ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, cinemas, gymnasiums, museums, exhibitions, clubs, discotheques, night clubs, open-air markets, indoor swimming pools, national swimming pool, gaming premises including controlled gaming premises, bingo halls, casinos, gaming parlours, lotto booths, and betting shops. The Legal Notice allows for restaurants, snack bars, and kiosks to continue providing delivery and take-away services to the community. On restaurants situated in hotels, the legal notice said that these shall continue to provide room service to hotel guests and delivery service in the community.
Photos: Malta International Airport, Malta Union of Teachers