Bulgaria taken off ‘amber list,’ no new countries added

No measures imposed on France and Croatia, despite high prevalence of Covid-19

Miguela Xuereb

The amber list of countries and areas from which visitors are required to produce a negative swab test or Covid-19 will become even smaller on Friday, with the health authorities deciding Bulgaria no longer needs to be on the list.

As from midnight on Friday, 4 September, the list will include three countries – Czechia, Romania, Tunisia – and the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Girona and Madrid.

Travellers hailing from any country or city on the list are required to present a negative PCR Covid-19 test performed no longer than 72 hours before arrival in Malta. Those who fail to produce such a test may be submitted to testing in Malta, and may also be asked to quarantine.

As its president Martin Balzan explained on Newsbook Hour on 103 Malta’s Heart last Saturday, the Medical Association of Malta has been insisting that there should be no amber list: all inbound travellers should be required to test.

“How can you control the epidemic when the door is being left wide open,” Balzan had asked.

According to the latest figures reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population – through which it measures the prevalence of Covid-19 – is 227.5 in Spain. It stands at 43.5 in Czechia, 84.4 in Romania and 22.8 in Bulgaria.

The number for Malta is 86.5, the fourth-highest in the EU. Though higher numbers are also reported in Croatia and France, no requirements have been imposed on travellers hailing from those countries.