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The relaxation of COVID-19 measures: explained

As many of you are undoubtedly aware, Malta entered what many refer to as a ‘soft lockdown’ on 10 March. All shops, restaurants, non-essential services, mass gatherings, even public gatherings of more than four (and then two) were banned and have been for weeks now.

When the restrictions were announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela, the tentative date for re-opening or relaxation of said measures, was 11 April. Today, a few days before the nation expected to have a little more freedom, the government held another press conference.

Here’s the re-opening timetable in an orderly fashion, to make it easier for you to catch-up.

monday 12 April

Primary schools, kindergartens and childcare centres will be re-opening their doors. What’s more, elective surgeries and visits to care homes will also be permitted once again, as of this date.

Wednesday 14 April

Middle school students will be heading back to school. This refers to years Form 1 and Form 2.

Friday 16 April

Secondary schools will be re-opening their doors. This refers to Form 3, Form 4 and Form 5.

Sunday 18 April

Religious mass will resume under the usual protocols.

Monday 26 April

Currently, no more than two people can appear in public together. As of the 26 of April, the restriction will be eased slightly and the number will be increased to four. On the same date, non-essential shops and services will re-open and yes, this includes salons and hairdressers, with mitigation protocols.

What about restaurants, bars and sports?

According to the Prime Minister, bars and restaurants are to remain closed for the time being and organised sport is still forbidden. That being said, Abela did indicate that they may be allowed as of 1 June. Weddings are also expected to resume as of 1 June, under certain protocols, which have not been specified as of yet.

Robert Abela also added that the re-opening measures may indeed be reversed if hospitalisation numbers were to increase again and now is “not the time to relax.” 13 months to the day since the first COVID-19 case was detected on the Maltese Islands, Abela said that the re-opening plan was based on key metrics, including a lower number of cases, declining hospitalisation numbers and greater vaccination rates.

With regards to the government-issued vouchers that were promised to the public months ago, would be issued once the shops and services were re-opened.

What do you make of the amended restrictions?

Check back here for all the latest!