Establishments to close, from restaurants to gyms – quarantine fine now €3,000
Prime Minister Robert Abela announced further measures in what may be considered as a partial lockdown aimed at rapidly containing the rate of coronavirus infections. He said that, as from midnight tomorrow, a legal notice will enter into force to close a number of establishments to avoid social gatherings.
“We are closing bars, excluding take aways, that is establishments that offer food services, restaurants – persons are banned to enter restaurants to eat; therefore no sit down. We will also close gyms, it is ironic that I am announcing this news but responsibility entails that all necessary decisions are taken as the people’s health remains a priority. The closing of establishments will also apply to clubs, cinemas, tombla halls….those affected by the legal notice will be specified”.
After a number of persons were caught breaching the mandatory quarantine, the Prime Minister announced that the fine for those breaching quarantine has gone up from €1,000 to €3,000. Dr Abela said the Government will continue to issue directives to prolong the time to arrive at a lockdown, or ideally that this will not happen, even if the Government has a plan in the eventuality that it is needed.
The Prime Minister stated that this is a difficult moment and of sacrifice to everyone and therefore appealed for cooperation by everyone. On whether to suspend more flights from countries where the coronavirus pandemic is increasing, Dr Abela appealed to those intending to depart to do so and those arriving, to return.
He did not exclude the possibility of a ban on travel after medical advice. Asked if he will publish the medical advice, Dr Abela said he wants to assure everyone that the Government is following the medical advice it is given.
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne stated that the Maltese health authorities are working in a way by limiting the number of cases and prolonging the time of the virus presence in the country.
Interior Minister Byron Camilleri said that the country is taking important decisions which are being enforced by the law and order forces, while 376 inspections have been carried out and five persons fined.
Dr Camilleri Said that the Armed Forces, Civil Protection and local wardens are assisting in other matters, including the distribution of food and medicines to elderly persons.