Malta rolls back most COVID-19 restrictions
The airport reopens on 1 July following pressure from tourism organizations
- June 04, 2020 13:00
Malta will lift on Friday most restrictions introduced in March to contain the COVID-19 spread in the island nation, except for schools and contact sports. As Prime Minister Robert Abela announced earlier this week, bars, gyms and other establishments will be allowed to open again but with a simultaneous presence of a limited number of people inside and full respect of social distancing rules. The relaxed regime, according to Abela, must rest on three basic principles: social distancing, personal hygiene and the use of masks in indicated places.
Office work restarts with guidelines
From tomorrow, employers can summon their staff, even the most vulnerable employees, back to the office. Non-binding government guidelines, published yesterday, clarify how this should be done.
The guidelines still encourage working from home. Otherwise, the number of staffers in the office at one time should be kept to the minimum.
Fellow workers are advised to work more than 4 square metres apart, always maintaining at least a 2 metres distance between each other. If this isn't possible, they should wear masks or visors. Open-plan offices and newsrooms should have partitions between employees.
Employers are urged to take office workers’ temperature on their way in, as this is already being done in most supermarkets and other public places. While at the office, workers should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds regularly and, if this is not feasible, use 70 per cent alcohol-based sanitizer.
Walkways should be made one-way while face-to-face meetings should be limited to 15 minutes and held outside or in well-ventilated places. Workers in different shifts are also advised to avoid contact.
Childcare facilities reopen
The reopening of childcare centres from Friday will allow many parents to return to office work. To reduce the risk of infection, arrival, departure and break times for children will be staggered, while social visits will not be allowed.
Malta airport resumes operations on 1 July
From 1 July, Malta will reopen its airport to direct flights to and from selected destinations. They include the Italian regions of Sicily and Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland and Ireland.
Passengers have to prove that they have stayed in the same country for four weeks prior to the flight. Arrivals will neither be tested for the novel coronavirus nor subject to quarantine.
Malta is heavily dependent on inbound tourism. Not surprisingly, the government has succumbed to the pressure of the industry which has warned of a landslide of layoffs and bankruptcies if the season is delayed.
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