Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced that all educational establishments will be closed from tomorrow.
These include schools, child care centres, university, MCAST, and others. The government will re-examine the decision in a week’s time.
Earlier today, several schools announced they would be closing their doors. This included San Anton, St Edward’s, St Michael’s, and St Catherine’s.
“The public health in the priority of this government,” he said.
The government will try to implement a system for online lessons for secondary schools, Education Minister Owen Bonnici asked.
Concerns have already been raised that parents would now need to take time off work to care for their children. However, Abela said that “they could always use their leave”.
Malta has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. Each case has been imported and there is yet to be local transmission. That could all change in the coming days.
When it came to private industry, Abela said the choice to close their doors will remain entirely with the employer.
“The government is not going to impose an entire shutdown of the country. It is not needed at the moment. If the time comes who knows. If tomorrow, we need to do it, we will do it,” he said.
Bars, restaurants, and commercial establishments will remain open. However, Abela still urged caution from both patrons and owners.
The government has imposed strict measures since COVID-19 hit Malta. Blocking all non-essential travel to Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Spain.
People who break self-quarantine upon return from affected countries will also be subject to a 1,000 euro fine.
This is a developing story.