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Country Description: Malta is a small, developed, democratic Mediterranean island nation, positioned as a cultural and political stepping-stone between Europe and North Africa. Tourist facilities of all categories are widely available.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information concerning entry requirements for Malta, travelers can contact the Embassy of Malta at 2017 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 462-3611, or the Maltese Consulate in New York City.

Medical Facilities: Medical care is available, but doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including coverage for medical evacuation by air, has proven to be useful. Information on specific health matters is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at (404) 332-4559 or by visiting the CDC Internet home page at

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Visitors should exercise extreme caution, as drivers can be erratic, and driving on the left-hand side takes some adjustment. Roads flood easily, and they are often narrow, winding, and congested, with poor visibility around curves. Recently opened traffic arteries have been plagued by frequent bottlenecks and serious accidents, often due to drivers' inexperience in merging and excessive speed.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Malta has a low rate of violent crime. Incidents of pickpocketing and purse-snatching are relatively rare; however, break-ins and thefts from parked vehicles and thefts of cars are on the increase. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. In Malta, penalties for possession, use, and dealing of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security in Malta. The U.S. Embassy in Malta is located on the third floor of Development House, St. Anne Street, Floriana, Valletta. The Consular Section's telephone number is (356) 235-960; the fax number is (356) 243-229.

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