Malta has imposed an 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants, effective as of Monday, as a response in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Robert Abela and Health Minister Chris Fearne have just announced.
Mandatory mask wearing will also be extended everywhere as of tomorrow, including at work, with certain exceptions. A week’s grace period will apply before fines are issued.
Meanwhile, police officers, health authorities and MTA officials will step up their enforcement through COVID-19 dedicated teams. Fines will remain at €100, which will be reduced to €50 if it is paid before proceedings commence in front of the Commissioner for Justice, but Abela warned he isn’t excluding increasing fines if needs be.
“We want to be transparent and honest,” Abela said. “COVID-19 cases have increased but the situation is under control. We need to increase our responsibilities to safeguard lives and livelihoods.”
Meanwhile, Fearne announced that Malta will roll out rapid COVID-19 tests on 28th October, initially for incoming passengers at the airport, educational institutions, the healthcare sector and elderly care homes.
During the press conference, Abela and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri didn’t wear a mask when speaking, while Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci did. Public speaking is one of the exceptions during which masks can be taken off.
Abela’s announcement comes in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases, with Malta confirming 122 new cases today, a record single-day rise since the start of the pandemic.
Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela jindirizza konferenza tal-Aħbarijiet dwar Covid-19
Posted by MaltaGov on Friday, October 16, 2020