Malta closes bars, clubs and discos due to rising cases of Covid-19
An amber list will be added to the red and green lists for flights from certain countries
- August 18, 2020 10:30
Relaxation of coronavirus containment measures for the summer has led to a surge of new infections in most EU countries which is forcing governments to backtrack, mainly with regard to non-essential economic activities. Malta is no exception.
No food – no drink!
From this Wednesday, entertainment venues in the island nation where social distancing is hard to maintain, such as bars, clubs, discos, and band clubs (każini) will be closed. Only bars which offer food may continue to operate on the condition that patrons must remain seated and need to order food and not just drinks.
The about-face was announced by Deputy PM Chris Fearne during a press conference on Monday, aired by TVM. Fearne also declared an end to boat parties from Wednesday. All passengers travelling by sea must observe social distancing and wear masks.
A maximum of 15 people may gather together in a public place, stated Fearne. This will not apply to churches, other places of worship and funerals, as these religious activities are already regulated by strict social distancing rules. In indoor public places, the use of masks will be mandatory. As of 28 August, weddings can only be held if the guests are seated.
Regarding international flights, Fearne said that in addition to the measures already in effect, an amber list will complement the red and green lists for flights from certain countries. The amber list will come into effect on Friday at midnight and will be updated regularly.
Arrivals from countries which are on the red and amber lists will need to produce a negative swab test certificate issued within the past 72 hours. Failure to present the certificate will leave the passenger with two options: enduring a mandatory quarantine for 14 days or else undergoing compulsory testing in Malta. The Malta International Airport will also start random testing of arrivals with all other travel restrictions remaining in place.
Contracting Covid-19 twice highly unlikely
At the press conference, the Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci reported 69 new cases of Covid-19 overnight with 10 persons achieving recovery. This brings the number of active cases to 607 out of 1 375 registered positive cases since the onset of the corona epidemic in Malta. Chris Fearne stressed that so far there has been no evidence of a person testing positive twice for the coronavirus.
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