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Stay in the know: New COVID-19 restrictions

On Friday evening, Prime Minister Robert Abela, deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci appeared on our screens, with an important announcement to make.

With active cases on the island now topping 1,000, many were vying for and certainly expecting a fresh set of measures.

Without further ado, here are the latest COVID-19 measures, which go into effect today, Monday, 19 October:

closed at 11pm

Entertainment and catering establishments, including bars and każini must close at 11pm and not a minute later. Yes, this includes restaurants, too.

face masks everywhere, all the time

The wearing of facemasks, not visors, is compulsory in all public places, including on the streets, and workplaces. The wearing of the facemask is also obligatory for all students at all times in primary schools. Though the measure entered full force as of Saturday, the authorities are allowing a one-week grace period before fines are dished out.

Your face mask can only be removed if:

  • you’re alone in your own private car or with family members who live in the same household

  • you’re at home

  • you’re under the age of three

  • you are suffering from respiratory health conditions

  • you’re performing physical activity such as running or cycling

  • you’re in circumstances where lip reading is an absolute necessity

increased fines and enforcement

Health officers, health authorities and MTA officials will be stepping up their enforcement by means of COVID-19 dedicated teams. Fines are to remain at €100, but will be reduced to €50 if they are paid before proceedings in front of the Commissioner for Justice. That being said, the Prime Minister did warn that he is not excluding increasing fines if the need arises.

social distancing still applies

During the press conference, Abela, Fearne and Gauci all reiterated the fact that hand hygiene and social distancing measures, which have been reinforced since March of this year, are paramount and still very much in place.

“Life must go on but to do so, we have to be responsible towards each other,” said the Prime Minister.

Make sure you’re always up to date with COVID-19 related measures. Click here for the latest.