UPDATED: Covid tests on some passenger arrivals from certain departure points

Over the coming days the Health Authorities will make it obligatory that passengers arriving from certain countries or cities considered to be high-risk Covid areas will have to present certificates that in the last 48 hours before arrival they tested Covid negative.

Those who do not present a certificate will have to undergo a swab test and if they refuse they will have to be quarantined.

This was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne when replying to questions put to him during the programme ‘Rasimbras’ that was broadcast by TVM this evening.

Minister Fearne said this is a new swab test that produces a result in two hours rather than the standard six hours. Arrangements for these new measures to be imposed are currently ongoing.

He said a certificate has to be presented and this will make lighter work but if an arrival does not present a certificate there is a possibility they will be tested. If the test is refused, then quarantine will follow and a test still has to be taken. He said this is the system to be used and has been introduced in two or three European countries over the last weekend and Malta will be in the forefront of also introducing it.

On the day when the number of active cases in the country neared 500 infected persons, Dr Fearne still insisted the situation is still under control.

He said the number of those infected is substantial but not alarming. Asked whether the situation is at risk of getting out of hand, Dr Fearne said the situation is being kept under control in the sense that more and more swab tests are being carried out. Over the last 24 hours 2,250 tests were carried out and this is an absolute record on a per capita basis throughout Europe.

The Health Minister said the fact that infection figures have escalated as a result of mass activities has put more pressure on the health system.

He said that suddenly over a few days thousands of tests have had to be carried out and it has taken some days to increase the human resource application. This means that more doctors, nurses and dentists have been required, a health laboratory opened and new health scientists engaged. As of today a new swab centre was opened in Qormi and the day after tomorrow a new centre will open at Burmarrad.

Over the coming hours adjourned Legal Notices stipulating new restrictions introduced recently will be published. He said that in measures introduced last week some have tried to find loopholes and amendments will be made to close these loopholes.

He insisted there is sufficient protective clothing for all health employees for the next two months and in a few days a fresh order will be made for provision until the end of the year. Regarding education he said the Government still ends to open schools toward the end of September.

Dr Fearne said in the coming days Education Minister Owen Bonnici and he will be meeting with EU Ministers for Health and Education in order to share ideas as to the best way in which to protect children and teachers, as well as the community.

For the many still in quarantine and although not infection positive but still cannot attend their work place, the appeal remains the same.

He said all should be responsible and not attend gatherings where social distancing is difficult. He said this does not mean people should remain in their homes nor does it mean a lockdown but responsibility should be shown by all because everybody is in this together.

Regarding the declaration made by the Russian Government that a vaccine has been developed, Dr Fearne said that the WHO and EU scientific authorities have not been provided with any evidence that the vaccine is secure and effective.

 

Earlier:

Over the coming days the Health Authorities will make it obligatory that passengers arriving from certain countries or cities considered to be high-risk Covid areas will have to present certificates that in the last 48 hours before arrival they tested Covid negative.

Those who do not present a certificate will have to undergo a swab test and if they refuse they will have to be quarantined.

This was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne when replying to questions put to him during the programme ‘Rasimbras’ that will be broadcast at 7.15 pm by TVM.

He said a certificate has to be presented and this will make lighter work but if an arrival does not present a certificate there is a possibility they will be tested. If the test is refused, then quarantine will follow and a test still has to be taken. He said this is the system to be used and has been introduced in two or three European countries over the last weekend and Malta will be in the forefront of also introducing it.

Dr Fearne also said the Health Authorities are currently working on the logistics of these new measures and will include a list of routes judged to be of high risk.

During the interview he also spoke of the new legal amendments regarding mass activities and plans to open schools in September as well as the vaccine that Russia is claiming it has developed.

Other News

In the Home for the Elderly San Ġużepp in Fgura there are currently 100 elderly persons suffering from Coronavirus with 15 more cases confirmed yesterday. The Clinical Chair for Geriatrics,…

The Ministry for Health has just been informed that an 86-year-old man has succumbed to Covid-19 after being found positiveThe elderly man was confirmed positive on 8th September. He was…

The European Institute for Innovation and Technology has launched the Malta EIT Urban Mobility Hub initiative to help improve urban mobility over distances, particularly between different localities. The Institute is…

A 43-year-old British tourist was handed a six months’ suspended prison sentence for a period of two years after admitting to having driven a hired vehicle while under the influence…

View More