Establishments and activities can re-open as from Monday – Prime Minister
Fifty-five days after identification of the first case of Covid-19 in Malta, the door has opened slightly for Malta to start on the road back to normality.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced that following consultation with the health authorities, Monday will see the relaxation of some of the restrictive measures imposed in order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. These will include the re-opening of a number of outlets and medical services which had been suspended.
“I am satisfied the time has come for the dawning of a brighter day than yesterday. This does not mean everything is over, however, but simply that we have started on the road back to a new normality.”
During a media conference at Castille, the Prime Minister declared that the decisions taken by the Government had reached a perfect balance between effectiveness and restrictions, due also to cooperation by the public. Dr Abela added that even businesses which will be allowed to re-open will still be entitled to the assistance announced by Government or a period which has still to be defined.
Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne gave a list of outlets which can re-open as from Monday.
“Outlets which can re-open include lotto booths, VRT stations, clothes shops and sporting goods shops, jewellery shops and other accessories, outlets selling leather goods like bags and shoes, shops selling non-prescription spectacles, perfumeries; however, hairdressing salons and nail technicians salons will remain closed; shops which sell sewing materials and home decor, discount shops and souvenir shops, luggage and toy shops, hobby shops, furniture outlets and florists.
Minister Fearne explained that social distancing has to be maintained in every outlet, and both customers and staff have to wear masks. Dr Fearne added that all outlets have to be equipped with sanitizers, and every person entering shopping complexes will have their temperature taken. In the case of clothes shops, customers will not be allowed to try on outfits.
Along with the opening of businesses, Dr Fearne announced that as of Monday, a number of health services will start being provided once again, including those for cancer and cardiology. Patients will be notified of their new appointments replacing previous appointments which were not kept.
Minister Fearne also announced the re-opening of the Court Registry, as well as relaxations on travel between Malta and Gozo. Furthermore, the maximum number of persons grouped in public has now gone up from three to four. Minister Fearne added that the virus has still not been eliminated, and appealed for caution.
“Inviting others into our homes and organising barbecues, parties or lunches and dinners is still dangerous.”
Dr Fearne warned that if the rate of transmission goes up again and one person is found to infect more than one other person, the Government does not exclude re-imposing restrictive measures.
We need to adapt to the situation we are living in – Prof Gauci