Here's what American travelers need to know.

By Jessica Poitevien
September 01, 2020
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There are slim pickings nowadays when it comes to international travel for U.S. citizens, but the short list of countries allowing them entry is steadily growing. While the European Union still maintains its travel ban on Americans, a few member states — like Croatia — have made an exception. In the case of Malta, that exception comes in the form of a loophole.

The island nation just south of Sicily will allow American tourists to enter the country only if they have spent the previous 14 days in one of the destinations that Malta officials have included in its safe travel corridor.

According to a statement on the Malta International Airport website, the “safe list” includes Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Italy, France, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Poland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, China, Vatican City, Rwanda, Uruguay, Slovenia, Japan, Morocco, Thailand, Tunisia, Portugal, Romania, Lebanon, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, and Liechtenstein.

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After spending two weeks in one of these 50 locations, U.S. tourists can make their way to Malta as long as they don’t have any layovers in a destination not on the safe corridor list. Beyond filling out a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and a Passenger Locator Form, American travelers in Malta will be largely free to roam the country as they normally would. Quarantining upon arrival will not be required. It’s important to note, however, that only a handful of countries on the safe list are currently accepting U.S. visitors.

This policy has been in place since July 15, but was recently tested out by American traveler Joey Pham.

“I was pretty shocked to hear this about Malta since it was Schengen,” Pham told Forbes. “I learnt about it from a travel community. I went to Croatia as well, it was relatively easy with my [negative COVID] test in hand. But because there were no direct flights from there to Malta, I transited via Italy.”

Italy is among the EU nations denying entry to U.S. tourists, but transit through the country is allowed.