Groups of more than 15 persons will be breaking the law

Updated 03:49 PM
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne and The Superintendent of Public Health address a press conference

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne and The Superintendent of Public Health address a press conference

Posted by saħħa on Monday, August 17, 2020

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Health Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci are holding a press conference this morning, in which they are expected to announce new measures in a bid to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

12:00 The press conference has ended. Thank you for following Newsbook.com.mt
Sylvana Debono
11:57 Fearne: Any country placed on the amber list will be advised 5 days prior so that travellers will have time to get the necessary tests done.

Gauci: Cases can be asymptomatic, symptomatic, light cases or more serious cases. The majority are middle-aged persons.

Fearne: Final appeal to all so that they safeguard their own health and that of others.
Sylvana Debono
11:49 Gauci: 200 fines on quarantine, 2 fines on clubbing, 118 fines on lack of masks. These have happened over the whole COVID period. 9 persons are in the infectious diseases unit, 2 are in the ITU, 13 are in Boffa Hospital and 13 in Mount Carmel Hospital.

Fearne: Rules for restaurants will remain applicable without change and tables must be 2m apart.

On ecclesiastic matters, discussions are underway and funerals are still permitted. Thanked the Archbishop for his co-operation.
Sylvana Debono
11:41 Fearne: sports and examinations will be assessed on a case by case basis particularly examinations. Meetings with Minister for Education underway to assess the situation in schools.
PM's sojourn in Sicily is not part of this press conference.

In reply to another journalist, he again refused to give any information about the PM's whereabouts.

Seated restaurants will not be affected but bars and band clubs will not be permitted to operate outside a seated environment.

We have had no one who tested positive twice so far but some serological tests are being carried out.

As a ministry, we are in constant touch with the CDC, ECDC and other authorities. While there are rules which are generally applicable, modifications for prevention are discussed and implemented.
Sylvana Debono
11:36 Fearne: In March, at the outset, we reacted to evidence being compiled. Now we have an amount of information to go upon so what we do today is not going to be a carbon copy of that time.
With regards to MAM, the measures we have put in place was not as a reaction to the threat of industrial action but because it had to be done. "I do not feel that the association would be helping if in this delicate time it withdraws essential medical help".
Gauci: 2269 tests carried out yesterday with 69 new cases. The issue of a health emergency will remain in abeyance but subject to revision at any time.
Sylvana Debono
11:32 Fearne: The PM's whereabouts are not relevant to this press conference.
Use of boats with the necessary precautions is fine but boat parties are no longer permitted as these will not allow for social distancing.
Masks are to be worn in all public places which are closed. In streets, groups of more than 15 are not permitted. Masks in streets are still recommended as well as public places.
Gauci: 1200, health care workers in the field and have been assessed for risk to patients.
Sylvana Debono
11:31 Replies to Questions by journalists follow
Sylvana Debono
11:30 Gauci: More measures deemed necessary as those put in place did not give the desired results. "We can do our best and introduce any amount of measures but they will yield results only if all co-operate"
Sylvana Debono
11:25 Prof Charmaine Gauci: constant analysis of situation and identification of hot-spots and sources of the epidemic. Clusters noted in partying atmospheres and where alcohol and shouting aided transmission through droplet infection. Restaurants, hairdressers and other sectors under control and the current measures remain applicable. Social distancing remains crucial.
Sylvana Debono
11:23 Fearne: Appeals to all to take this in good spirit and mutual consideration. He also made a brief resumé in English .
Sylvana Debono
11:20 Fearne: Masks will be obligatory in all closed public spaces and where social distancing will not be possible. Fines will be applicable. In private cars, masks are not obligatory if a person is on their own. Public transport, etc masks are obligatory. Weddings will be limited to 'restaurant rules' with regards to distancing and serving of food. This will be applicable as from the 28th August. Weddings need to be seated.
Sylvana Debono
11:19 Fearne: Boat parties will be banned as from Wednesday. Also, groups will be limited to under 15 persons. Groups of more than 15 persons will be breaking the law. Masks will now become obligatory together with social distancing and sanitizing.
Sylvana Debono
11:17 Fearne: As From Wednesday: Clubs, nightclubs, discos and bars will be closed. Bars will be permitted only where they form part of a restaurant complex. In these cases, only dining patrons will be served.
Sylvana Debono
11:15 Fearne: The 'red list' and the 'green list' of no go countries will remain and will be supplemented by the 'amber list'. Effective on Friday, the travellers from countries in this list need to provide a COVID-negative certificate which is as recent as 72h. Random testing at the airport will still be in place.
Sylvana Debono
11:14 Fearne: we need to keep ourselves healthy to stop the spread and prevent new acquisitions of the virus.
Sylvana Debono
11:12 Fearne praises all staff who are working on COVID cases: from the medical staff of various disciplines to other health officials. He said that staff who monitor quarantine are particularly sensitive.
Sylvana Debono
11:10 Deputy PM Chris Fearne: we have so far used two strategies: testing and tracing and social distancing. In the past weeks, the testing and tracing have been beefed up: hotline 11 with an average of 50 persons staffing it daily.
Sylvana Debono
10:56 The Press conference has started a bit late due to advised powercuts.
Sylvana Debono

Though the number of active cases had been brought down to just 3 a month ago, Malta is now dealing with a record number of cases of Covid-19, with 548 active cases, excluding quarantined asylum seekers which have been excluded from official figures. The highest numbers of daily cases have been reported in the past two days, when 72 and 63 new cases were reported respectively.

Prime Minister Robert Abela held a meeting with Fearne and Gauci on Sunday, and on Facebook, he revealed that new measures would be announced today.

The Medical Association of Malta has already warned that it will resume its industrial action – which has been provisionally suspended – tomorrow if the government does not introduce measures it deems adequate.

The press conference, which is taking place at the Health Ministry, is scheduled to start at 11am.

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