It is now mandatory that all community pharmacies close at 6 pm daily according to a joint-notice published by Kamra Tal-Ispizjara Ta’ Malta and The Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises.
The joint-notice also highly recommended that pharmacies close between 1 pm and 4 pm with staff working behind closed doors on POYC (Pharmacy Of Your Choice) or other matters, or rest.
Pharmacies usually stay open until 7 pm with some choosing to close at a later time.
The intent of the opening hours directive is to help reduce patient footfall in pharmacies so that it is ‘intermittent and not continual.’ This initiative also comes in light of a pharmacy in Balzan that had to temporarily close its doors and be fumigated after a member of staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“Pharmacists are urged not to engage with patients for more than 10 minutes to reduce the aerosolisation of droplets in the pharmacy,” the notice said.
Just last week, a spokesman for the pharmaceutical section of the Chamber of SMEs told Lovin Malta that under the extraordinary circumstances pharmacies would extend opening hours.