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PM Robert Abela (Centre), Health Minister Chris Fearne, and Prof Charmaine Gauci announce the changes, Source: MaltaGov on Facebook

Malta reopens schools among other alleviation measures

Malta reopens schools among other alleviation measures

Bars and restaurants will remain closed with continuing financial support

The Government of Malta has announced the re-opening of schools from 12 April, alongside other relaxation measures that will be coming into effect over the next few weeks. The plan for a phased lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions was outlined on Wednesday at a press conference, attended by Prime Minister Robert Abela, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne, and Superintendent of Public Health Prof Charmaine Gauci.

The Prime Minister reiterated that whenever it came to increasing or easing restrictions, the government adhered to three priorities – public health, education, and the elderly.

Changes at a glance

So, against this background, the following changes to the COVID-19 containment measures will occur:

From 12 April

  • Childcare and kindergartens, as well as primary schools reopen with health protocols in place.
  • Scheduled operations at hospitals resume.
  • Nursing homes are again open to visits.

From 14 April

  • Middle schools reopen.

From 16 April

  • Secondary schools reopen.

Post-secondary institutions will continue to operate online.

From 18 April

  • Mass is resumed at Churches.

From 26 April

  • Non-essential stores reopen.
  • Provision of non-essential services resumes.
  • 4 people will be allowed to gather in public.

Bars and restaurants will remain closed, while continuing to receive financial assistance. PM Abela announced that EUR 45 million in vouchers will be distributed to people.

Organised sports activities will not be allowed for now. The bulk of other restrictions will remain in effect and will be eased depending on the pandemic situation.

Dr Abela highlighted 1 June as the target date for the country to re-open for tourism and added that with its fast-paced vaccination rollout, Malta can be advertised as one of the safest places in Europe. Likewise, the government plans weddings to resume also on 1 June with reasonable protocols.

Fast-paced vaccination programme

Regarding the vaccination programme, Minister for Health Chris Fearne informed that 95 percent of the elderly aged 80 or over, 86 percent of the elderly aged 70 or over and 76 percent of the elderly aged 60 and over have already received the first dose of the vaccine against COVID- 19.

“We have also vaccinated 86 percent of vulnerable people, which is the highest rate in the European Union. This is while schools will be reopening with 86 percent of teachers and staff having received the first jab," said Fearne, quoted by the government information office.

On her part, Superintendent of Public Health Prof Charmaine Gauci argued that all decisions taken are based on science. She concluded that continuous monitoring, even of what is happening in other countries is essential for any future changes in the regime of measures.

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