International naturists want Abela to relax public nudity rules

Another call for ‘transparency’ from Labour… this time from nudists! International Naturist Federation wants Qarraba Bay recognised as official nudist beach

Naked strip: the Qarraba Bay beach near Gnejna
Naked strip: the Qarraba Bay beach near Gnejna

The International Naturist Federation has penned a request to Malta’s prime minister Robert Abela, asking that he amends the Criminal Code on public nudity and officially declare just one beach, as nudist.

The Austria-based INF’s president Sieglinde Ivo, said Labour should recognise the stretch of coastline between Gnejna Bay and Riviera Martini, known as Qarraba Bay and long unofficially tolerated as a place where persons can sunbathe and swim naked, as a nudist beach.

But no official acknowledgment to the INF letter was sent to the international naturists, who think Malta is losing considerable potential tourist income from a niche market.

The INF-FNI says it represents over 450,000 naturists and 37 federations, listing over 1,000 clubs and resorts on its website.

“The promotion of naturism shares a universal message in its offer of tranquillity and relaxation from the daily stress and anxieties of life… the website launched by the group of Maltese Naturists is a step in the right direction as it seeks to promote opportunities for naturism in Malta, especially with foreign tourists while reminding them to be always considerate of the law.”

Ivo said it was the INF’s hope that “the issue of public nakedness in Malta becomes a normalised issue as with other EU states” and said the federation would be available for discussion with any government.

Ivo said the fundamental premise of naturism is based on the fact that public nakedness is non-sexual and practised in specific designated areas. The INF said that as of 2020, Malta is probably the only Mediterranean state in the EU that does not offer an official nudist beach.

“The law still treats any reported instance of public nudity as a criminal offence. From reports that we receive, there unfortunately remains a sizeable segment of the Maltese population that associates public nudity with sex and is hostile and intolerant to such a practice,” Ivo said.

“Seen within this context, the Maltese Naturist group deserve the full respect of the INF-FNI for promoting such a noble cause through their website. They should be commended for their courage, as many local naturists complain about the difficulty of going public with the cause.”