Health Minister Chris Fearne refused to specify which exercises can be done outdoors without wearing a mask.
This comes after conflicting information regarding the usage of masks was passed on to wardens by Malta’s Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci.
Whilst the mask-wearing rules make exceptions for “high-intensity physical activity”, Gauci advised wardens that this only applies to jogging and cycling.
Fearne refused to clarify this during a press conference earlier today.
“It is counterproductive to try and find a loophole in every measure we implement. The spirit of these measures is clear,” the Health Minister said.
“When a legal notice is released, it is giving direction. It’s not an encyclopaedia discussing every case and every individual.“
Earlier this week, a group of eight people got fined for not wearing a mask whilst training outdoors – despite the fact they were keeping a two-metre distance from each other.
Fines for disobeying mask-wearing rules have recently been increased from €100 to €200, however, this will be reduced to €100 if it’s paid before being challenged and lost before the Commissioner for Justice.
“When it comes to exercise, it is clear that it’s important. Therefore, we do encourage people to keep exercising,” Fearne continued.
“When it comes to exercise that will put you in contact with other people, there you should wear a mask. Everyone needs to be disciplined and everyone needs to understand the spirit in which we implemented these measures.”
On Times of Malta’s weekly episode of Ask Charmaine, Gauci discussed the issue of mask-wearing and exercise.
“If you’re exercising and close to others, you’re also exposing others. Once you do some physical activity, there are more particles that can be released – so try and exercise in places without people,” Gauci said.
“Strenuous activity cannot be done with a mask, but keep a mask on you so that as soon as you get your breath back, you can put it on again.”