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Restaurants and snack bars set to re-open in May
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Prime minister Robert Abela held a press conference yesterday at 11am, announcing the relaxation of several COVID-19 measures, which have been in place for weeks now.
It’s important to note that the relaxation of the measures, come into effect as of 10 May and not immediately.
Which COVID-19 measures were relaxed?
Let’s get to the good stuff. First off the bat, training will resume for professional contact sports, and all non-contact sports can also take place, without any spectators. On the same day, arts, educational and extracurricular activities, as well as catechism lessons will be allowed to continue.
With regards to restaurants and snack bars, Robert Abela announced that they will be allowed to open their doors to the public as of the 10 of May, but can only serve customers till 5pm. Also, no more than four people can be sitting at each table. It’s also worth noting that self-service facilities and buffets will still not be permitted.
After 5pm, the same establishments will still be able to offer food delivery and take-away services.
Where Gozo and the travel restrictions are concerned, they will be lifted after the 10 of May, too.
For those with family members or friends in Mater Dei Hospital and Mount Carmel, it was announced that visits are set to resume.
With regards to the penalties for breaches in COVID-19 measures, they will remain at the current rates, despite the measures being relaxed.
What about the airport?
According to health minister Chris Fearne, all those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will be able to travel in and out of Malta, without having to quarantine. They will, of course, have to present a vaccine certificate. Fearne also added that the government would be looking to secure bilateral agreements with countries to allow for ease of travel.
Also, any and all passengers who fail to present a negative COVID-19 swab test will not be able to board the plane when travelling to Malta from abroad. This will effectively stop the travel at the country of departure.
What about bars and clubs?
Well, so far, there has been no mention of bars or clubs; especially where measure relaxation is involved.
As of today, 26 April, non-essential outlets and services have re-opened and are currently in operation. What’s more, groups of four are now allowed to congregate in public, as opposed to just two, as the measure dictated up until yesterday.
Additionally, up to four households can gather in private residences, which is up from the current two-residence limit.
With regards to shops, superintendent of public health Charmaine Gauci noted with importance that if any shop owners or employees notice that a customer is evidently ill, they have every right to refuse service or advise them to leave the facility.
Also, changing rooms can indeed be used, but must be cleaned in between each use. Gauci also clarified that the maximum capacity for shopping malls must be calculated as the sum of every individual store’s capacity, and not as a complex in itself.
What are your thoughts on all of this?