The Health Minister said that Malta now had an R Factor (the virus transmission rate) of 0.5 and it was therefore in a position to lift the restrictions that had been imposed. The Superintendent of Public Health said that the Government’s strategies were based on evidence, an extensive testing programme, and contact-tracing. Prime Minister Abela said some protocols will apply in the new norm, especially social distancing, the wearing of masks, and hygiene.
The restrictions lifted concern in the following areas:
- The airport will reopen on July 1 with services (only direct flights) initially restricted to 19 countries. The countries are Sardegna (Italy), Iceland, Slovakia, Sicily (Italy), Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Switzerland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, and Ireland. Visitors from these countries will not be quarantined, nor subjected to tests
- Bars, gyms, childcare centres and remaining establishments to reopen. As regards childcare centres, protocols will be in place for peace of mind. The protocols include a reduced number of children being together. These protocols will eventually be carried over to the reopening of schools in September. Wearing of masks will be required in reopened establishments, but the restriction regarding trying clothes in clothes shops’ changing rooms will now be rescinded
- Religious services are expected to resume by mid-June
- Certain events can be held once more, but for now, although there will not be restrictions on public gatherings, big events with large gatherings will still be banned.
Prime Minister Abela confirmed that a mini-budget will be announced on Monday 8 June with generous measures to further incentivise businesses. He said everyone will have to go back to work, including those considered vulnerable and given special concessions.
Publication date: 02/06/2020