Two Golden Bay beachgoers have filmed police officers after they were fined for allegedly keeping their masks on their chin while drinking coffee and juice by themselves.
The woman who took the video said she and her boyfriend went to Golden Bay last Saturday and were sunbathing by themselves, wearing their masks and keeping their physical distance from other beachgoers.
“My boyfriend went to buy me a coffee and a juice for himself,” she said.
“Approximately 10 minutes after he came back with the drinks, I was drinking my coffee and the mask was on my chin, same as my boyfriend’s. Then I saw two police officers approaching us and I put my mask fully back on my nose and mouth, as did my boyfriend.”
She said that the police officers told them that their masks weren’t on their chins while they were drinking, and insisted they hand over their passports.
“When I gave her my passport, the police officer was really rude and kept asking me if I’m from Latvia and which hotel I’m staying at. I told her that my boyfriend and I both live in Malta, and because the situation was unfair and I wasn’t breaking any rules, I told them I will record a video and contest the fines.”
The beachgoer said she suspects the police officers didn’t see their drinks because they were between her and boyfriend, and they approached from an angle that hid the beverages from their view.
“If so, they could just apologise and leave us alone as we didn’t break any rules,” she said. “Instead, they were rude and arrogant.”
With summer fast approaching, Malta’s rule of mandatory masks on beaches has come under increasing scrutiny.
Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci has said the rule is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but that the health authorities are monitoring Israel, which recently removed its requirement for people to wear masks outdoors after the majority of its population got vaccinated against COVID-19.