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Malta tourism losses due to second wave of COVID-19.

  • Grech, Victor1
  • Cuschieri, Sarah2
  • Balzan, Martin3
  • Grech, Peter4
  • Fabri, Stephanie5
  • Gauci, Charmaine6
  • 1 Mater Dei Hospital, Malta. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Malta)
  • 2 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Malta)
  • 3 Department of Respiratory, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Malta)
  • 4 Economics Student.
  • 5 Department of Management, University of Malta, Malta. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Malta)
  • 6 Health Regulation, Office of the Superintendence of Public Health, Pieta', Malta; Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Malta)
Published Article
Early human development
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2020.105208
PMID: 33032878


The world continues in the grip of COVID-19 with devastated tourism industries and global economies. In a previous paper, it was noted that a country's failure to dampen a first wave of infection or the recurrence of a second wave would serve as disincentives for greatly needed tourists in summer 2020 and would further significantly reduce tourism revenues and potentially accelerate job losses and bankruptcies in affected countries. Countries in the first wave of infection would need to restrain COVID-19 spread swiftly in order to benefit from summer 2020 tourism. Countries that had controlled COVID-19 and who experienced second waves would manifest the same negative effects. In the case of Malta, up to the beginning of July, the country had the lowest COVID-19 numbers in Europe but this ended abruptly when two mass events took place. In a fortnight, the steep escalation of cases led to a downgrade of the country's status to a high-risk destination, with a host of European countries enacting quarantine measures. The Maltese government re-imposed restrictions and COVID-19 numbers slowly started to temporarily decline. As an economy, Malta is highly dependent on the tourism industry, with approximately 17% of GDP reliant on this sector, directly and indirectly. Malta's red listing wrought a heavy toll on the industry. The World Health Organisation has mandated clear criteria for the release of restrictions and this sequence of events should serve as a cautionary tale: heed the advice of our public health colleagues. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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