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Charmaine Gauci Lays Out How Her Family Will Be Spending Christmas This Year

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As families prepare for a different kind of Christmas amidst a pandemic, the public face of the fight against COVID-19 in Malta has divulged her own plans for the festive season. 

“My family and I understand that this is a pandemic so we’ll only be celebrating with our household, not to expose others to the risk of the virus.”

“We just have to be patient this year, just as we were for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter. It’s the best gift you can give this Christmas, to keep social distancing, especially for those who could suffer complications,” Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci told Lovin Malta, urging others to do the same.

Hopefully, Gauci continued, we’ll be able to celebrate better next year. 

But despite the lockdown on bars and ban on large gatherings, there is a looming fear of people looking for loopholes to celebrate by booking private residences to host parties.

In fact, short-let website Booking.com marked 89% of its accommodations in Gozo as sold out for New Year’s Eve alongside 75% of its lodging in Malta. 

“It’s a beautiful tradition to have large festive lunches, but not in a pandemic,” Gauci stressed, urging citizens to remain vigilant as the largest COVID-19 clusters stem from gatherings.

Malta confirmed 96 new virus cases, with three more COVID-19 deaths today. This means the total number of active cases is at 2,076 and the death toll rose to 132.

A lockdown on bars until at least New Year’s Eve, an 11pm curfew on restaurants and mandatory mask-wearing have all been announced in an attempt to curb virus transmission. 

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READ NEXT: With 89% Of Gozo Accommodations Booked For New Year’s Eve, Hospitality Expert Warns Against House Parties

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