Around 25 restaurants and bars have so far agreed to limit access to vaccinated people in return for looser COVID-19 restrictions, Health Minister Chris Fearne has confirmed.
Responding to questions from Lovin Malta at a press conference today, Fearne said that 40 establishments have applied to be included under the new rules while around 25 accepted so far.
Fearne said that these new rules have proven more popular among larger establishments, as they feel they have more to gain than smaller establishments who are already bound by license limits.
As of Saturday 9th October, restaurants, bars and other establishments were can start restricting access to vaccinated clients.
These establishments must apply for certification with the Malta Tourism Authority, as approved by the health authorities, who will check whether all their staff have been vaccinated and subject them to random inspections.
Those who gain certification will be able to stay open until 3am (up from 2am), serve tables of up to eight people (up from six), keep their tables 1.5m apart from each other (down from 2m), play music up to 80dbs (up from 70dbs), and serve drinks at the bar through Perspex dividers.
While clients will still be unable to sit down or congregate at the bar, bartenders will no longer be obliged to carry out table service for drinks, alleviating the pressure on them and allowing some establishments to make do with fewer waiting staff at a time of labour shortage in the industry.
An internal survey carried out by the Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) indicated that around 90% of operators are unwilling to restrict access to vaccinated people.
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