Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:
Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.
We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.
It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements. We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate.
We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Latest Travel Alert
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
A number of cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Malta.
On 18 March 2020 the Maltese Government announced the suspension of Malta bound flights with effect from Friday 20 March 2020 at 11:59pm. In light of increasing restrictions any Irish citizens wishing to leave Malta should make urgent arrangements to depart as soon as possible.
Earlier measures include the Maltese Government announcement of 13 March that from that date all those who arrive to Malta from any country in the world will have to go into mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days, with significant penalties for non-compliance.
If you are in Malta, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.
Government of Malta COVID-19 helplines: 111 or + 356 2132 4086
Ministry of Health in Malta website and advice and information page
Ministry for Tourism Helpline for Tourists: + 356 2169 2447
Malta International Airport
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
In relation to potential terrorist attacks in European cities, Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.
You can contact the emergency services in Malta by dialling 112.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have any problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Our tips for safe travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Although the threat from terrorism in Malta is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime is low in Malta but pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft are becoming more common in the main tourist areas. Opportunistic crime does take place particularly in areas where large groups socialise in the evenings so make sure you take sensible precautions.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Malta, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
If you want to drive in Malta, bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Keep to the speed limit. In Malta traffic drives on the left hand side of the road as in Ireland.
Road improvement projects and construction work are currently widespread and can cause significant delays and travel disruption. It is also worth bearing in mind that some roads in Malta are in poor condition, and that local standards of driving can be poor. In addition, pedestrians should take particular care especially in urban areas. In 2018, Malta experienced an average of 3.8 deaths per million inhabitants compared to the Irish average of 3.1 road deaths per million inhabitants (source: European Commission).
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices.
There are strict penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs and convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and prison terms. Possession of relatively small quantities of drugs such as ecstasy can attract a mandatory prison sentence.
The majority of Maltese people speak English.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Malta.
The Maltese climate is generally very warm and sunny. However, it does rain between the end of October and the end of February and occasional heavy flooding is possible.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports)
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Malta.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the Duty Officer on 00356 99058895.
Embassy of Ireland
Ta’ Xbiex Seafront
Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1026
Monday to Friday 08:20-12:30 and 13:30-16:30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.