With the weather improving, many engaged couples will soon be looking to carry out their pre-wedding shoots, but Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci refused to clarify whether they’ll be able to do so without their masks on.
Questioned about this by Lovin Malta today, Gauci referred to the health authorities’ standards for filming, photo and video-shooting in the context the COVID-19 pandemic.
These guidelines state that single people or members of the same household may temporarily remove their masks during filming or photo shooting while maintaining a distance of two metres from others whenever possible.
However, many couples don’t live in the same household, which means taking maskless pre-wedding shoots will technically go against the guidelines.
Moreover, a legal notice states that masks must be worn outside at all times, with a few exceptions, such as during high-intensity physical activity, during official public speaking, if requested for identification purposes and to receive medication.
The law was updated last month to clarify that people can also remove their masks to eat, drink and smoke unless they’re walking, following confusion as a result of police fining picnickers.
However, the legal notice makes no reference to photoshoots at all.
Chamber of SMEs CEO Abigail Mamo told Lovin Malta that the wedding photography industry has raised this issue with her and urged the health authorities to apply a sense of practicality.
“Couples spend time together, even if they’re not in the same household,” she said. “Obviously, couples don’t want to wear masks for their pre-wedding shoots but they don’t want to get fined either.
“Engaged couples have already faced so many problems, and many had to postpone their weddings, but there’s some grey area here.”
Malta suspended weddings earlier this month until at least 11th April as it moved into quasi-lockdown to combat a rise in COVID-19 cases. Infections have dropped sharply since then and the government is expected to announce its reopening strategy in the near future.
No details on this have been published at all, but Charmaine Gauci has said the health authorities are treating the reopening of schools as their main priority.