Maltese Government announces lifting of Covid-19 Measures

June 02 01:56 2020 by The Editor Print This Article

  • Bars, gyms, childcare centres to reopen
  • Religious services to resume from mid-June
  • All workers expected to return to work
  • Masks still required in shops
  • No mass gatherings allowed, but six-person limit removed
  • No contact sports for now
  • Airport to reopen for services to 19 countries on July 1

Most COVID-19 restrictive measures to be removed Friday 5th June

Most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictive measures will be removed on Friday, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Monday.

On Sunday, Abela announced that the airport and ports will reopen in July while bars, gyms and other establishments will be allowed to open on Friday.

The remaining restrictive measures will be removed on Friday.

"On Friday we will be returning to the normal simple life we love. This is thanks to the discipline shown by the public and to the hard work of our frontliners," Abela said.

The infection spike did not materialise, and numbers kept going down, he said.

Stimulus Budget expected on 8th June

"On Monday 8 June, the government will be presenting a multi-million budget, which is required to stimulate the economy and thank Maltese businesses, which showed great resilience over the past few weeks," the PM said.  

Malta International Airport to open 1st July

On 1st July, Malta will also be reopening its airport, applying simple protocols that do not discourage people from travelling.  The COVID-19 restrictive measures are being removed whilst retaining clear protocols intended to keep people safe, the PM stated.

Hygiene has to be respected and face masks must be worn in the indicated places.   Social distancing will remain.

We must remain responsible. We asked people to be disciplined and they followed our guidelines, he said. Some minor restrictions will remain in place but we are returning to normality.
PM Abela

People must now return to work. These include those who had received a letter advising them to stay at home.

"Health remains the priority"

Deputy PM Chris Fearne said that, in January, the health authorities started preparing for the eventual arrival of the Coronavirus in Malta. New procedures were set up and medical staffs were trained.

The past three months can be seen as a test that showed that the country is fully prepared for any future pandemics. "We have won this was," Fearne said, "and now we must win peace."

The r-factor today is 0.5, the health minister continued, and this low rate is being sustained. Hospital waiting lists that increased as a result of COVID-19 will now be tackled, he said.

We have won this war
Health Minister & Deputy PM Chris Fearne  

He emphasised that social distancing has to remain. Fearne also thanked the Maltese public, particularly front liners and others who performed important duties during the pandemic.

Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said we started off in a situation where other countries were experiencing deaths. "We did not want to go through the same situation, and we introduced strategies based on evidence to do our utmost to protect you."

"We focused on a strategy of finding and isolating cases. Quarantine was important to keep the virus from spreading like it did in other countries."

Now that measures are being relaxed, the health authorities will keep giving guidance to the public and will further increase testing, "because we want to find every case of Coronavirus there is out there."

Measures are being relaxed with caution so that people feel safe, she continued.

Childcare centres can be opened, but with a difference. Certain previously banned events will be allowed, but we are not yet at a point where mass events can take place.

Schools to reopen in September

Fielding questions, Abela said the plan is for schools to reopen in September.

There are 19 countries the Maltese will be allowed to travel to. Incoming passengers will not be swabbed, he said.

Asked if he would publish the risk assessments on which these decisions were based, and the names of the scientists advising him, Abela said two of them are Fearne and Gauci. "The best certificate that we can be given are the results we are seeing," he said.

Asked about the amnesty for people fined for breaching social distancing rules, Abela said such a mechanism already exists. He also said the decision was based on the principle of "humanity". Those who abused will have to pay for their actions, but others who were caught in unfortunate circumstances should not, he said. "I never said that there should be an automatic amnesty."

Replying to another question, Chris Fearne said people will be allowed to attend mass as from the middle of June, but there will be some restrictions, like social distancing.

Gauci said the virus in Malta is under control and the transmission rate is low, but it is still the same virus. This is why we are still in a state of public health emergency. Monitoring will continue.