MALTA may be the latest country to be put back onto the UK travel ban list after cases have soared in recent days.
Spikes in France, Spain and Greece have raised fears of a second wave in Europe, resulting in last minute travel changes and holiday disruption.
Spain was one of the first countries to be removed from the safe travel list by the UK, with holidaymakers given just four hours notice.
Since July 26, all Brits have been warned against non-essential travel to both mainland Spain and the islands, while facing a two-week quarantine when back in the country.
Luxembourg has also been removed, and concerns have been raised over new infection rates in France and Greece, which could follow suit.
Yet Malta, which has reported some of the lowest cases of coronavirus across Europe, is seeing more new infections every day.
Brits were welcomed back to Malta from July 15 with cheap deals to the islands on offer.
Yet the country has already been removed from Ireland’s green list, which Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania followed suit in banning travel to Malta along with a 14-day quarantine.
On July 23, Malta had just six active cases – this has since soared to 267 after large group events were allowed. While there were less than two new daily cases last month, July 30 saw 94 new cases in one day.
The huge jump in cases could see it become the latest country where UK tourists are banned.
One local tour operator told the Telegraph: “If UK tourists stop coming next week, it will be a wipe-out. Our healthy ten-year-old business will be finished.”
The tiny island, with a population under 500,000, is taking new measures to try and prevent the spread any further.
Face masks must be worn in busy places such as in shops or public transport, with €50 fines for anyone caught without a face covering.
Doctors are also calling for large events and gatherings to be banned again, although government officials are yet to confirm this.
The Malta Tourism Authority also points out that the country is performing a high number of tests, compared to the rest of Europe.
They told the Telegraph: “The small number of cases in Malta vis-à-vis the size of the population can easily give a skewed impression of the actual situation.”
“We trust that all governments will analyse the figures intelligently and we are open to all discussions to ensure that we can mitigate any concern.”
Portugal is one of the European destinations which has remained off the UK travel list since it was announced on July 3.
The country, which saw a spike in cases in Lisbon which prompted the ban to continue, has slammed the decision, claiming cases remain low in the rest of the country.
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