42 catering establishments found to be in breach of Covid-19 regulations last month with 3 closed down

Last month, the enforcement section of the Malta Tourism Authority found forty-two food establishments in breach of Covid regulations : – some were still open after 11.00pm while others were not observing social distancing rules. Three establishments were closed because they were found to have violated Covid regulations several times.

Three food establishments were closed last month after Tourism Authority inspections found them to have repeatedly breached the rules relating to the Coronavirus .

During a visit to the staff members of this Authority, the Minister for Tourism, Clayton Bartolo, said that in February alone more than 10,500 inspections were carried out at establishments in Malta and Gozo.

” During this period, 22 establishments were found to be in breach of the 11pm closing-time rule and another 20 establishments were found in breach of the protocols – fines were issued against them and in some cases legal action was also taken. ”

The Chief Executive of the Tourism Authority, Johann Buttigieg explained that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the work of the authority had completely changed.

“We used to be in the business of attracting tourists whereas today we are the chief controllers of the catering establishments. Of course we are also guiding and instructing the food establishments as far as possible, but at the same time we are no longer in the learning phase but in the enforcement phase.”

Asked about expectations for summer, Minister Bartolo said that the situation was being monitored day by day, intended to bring the country out of the pandemic as soon as possible, for tourists to start considering Malta as a potential country to visit.

He said that the Authority’s strategy will be built on connectivity to Malta to ensure that tourists have satisfactory connectivity to be able to do so. He urged hotels and restaurants that had work to do, to carry it now so that as soon as restrictions are reduced they will be the first to serve tourists.