Watch: Masks mandatory outdoors – Abela

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela jindirizza konferenza tal-Aħbarijiet dwar Covid-19

Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela jindirizza konferenza tal-Aħbarijiet dwar Covid-19

Posted by MaltaGov on Friday, October 16, 2020

Prime Minister Robert Abela is addressing a press conference in Auberge de Castille.

The press conference is expected to be about new measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are the main points from the conference:

  • Next Monday is to bring about new economic measures to help safeguard jobs.
  • Bars and local band clubs will close at 11pm.
  • Masks are obligatory everywhere, even outside. Children of ages 3 and under should not wear masks as it may backfire.
  • Exceptions to obligatory mask wearing include exercising, public speaking, and when eating at a table.
  • Temporary removal of masks is allowed for identification purposes and lip reading purposes.
  • As of 28th October, rapid testing is to be introduced.
  • The vaccine is estimated to be available in 5-6 months.
20:23 He also said that it is not a question of not travelling, but rather is a question of being smart about it. There must be a coordinated system of rapid testing to allow tourism across Europe.
Maria Webb
20:19 The PM, in response to Newsbook.com.mt's question on vacations, stated that the EU summit was no vacation, but that the necessity of physically attending the council was questioned. There were varying opinions on online councils being held, and it was agreed that certain debates are to be held online. However others such as yesterday's and today's require physicality in the PM's opinion, since they are heated debates.
Maria Webb
20:11 The PM expressed his condolences to all the victims of Covid-19, saying that unfortunately it is a part of undergoing a pandemic. He stated that the economy must not be paralysed.
Maria Webb
20:04 Malta is to be amongst the first in the world to receive the vaccine. Until the vaccine arrives, in 5-6 months, let's remain vigilant.
Maria Webb
20:03 Fearne states that the Govt. does not expect the public to live in this new normal for some ten years – the vaccine is upcoming, and the public must be patient
Maria Webb
19:58 On contact tracing: the increase in cases has led to arrangements for further resources. This includes a relocation to a new premises to increase the human resources involved.
Maria Webb
19:55 Rapid testing happens there and then.
Maria Webb
19:54 In both primary and secondary schools masks must be worn at all times. In kindergarten, masks are not obligatory, since they shouldn't be worn by ages 3 and under.
Maria Webb
19:54 Journalists' questions commence.
Maria Webb
19:53 Masks are obligatory from primary school upwards.
Maria Webb
19:51 Masks can be temporarily removed for identification purposes. Masks can also not be worn in the case of lip reading being necessary, in case of public speaking for clarity, and when eating at a table.
Maria Webb
19:50 Mask wearing is not obligatory when exercising, such as jogging or cycling. But the mask must be carried along to be worn once exercise is concluded.
Maria Webb
19:49 Professor Charmaine Gauci states that children younger than 3 years are exempted from wearing a face mask everywhere. Other conditions such as health or behavioral are part of this exemption.
Maria Webb
19:44 MTA: enforcing entertainment establishments' adherence to measures
Maria Webb
19:44 Police: enforcing any public measures, particularly in relation to groups
Maria Webb
19:44 Public Health Directorate: enforcing quarantine, helping out police
Maria Webb
19:43 LESA: Totally focused on Covid-related measures – masks, inspections on all public transport
Maria Webb
19:41 Enforcement is being led by 4 main authorities: the Police, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Local Enforcement System Agency and the Public Health Directorate.
Maria Webb
19:39 75,000 of the 100,000 influenza vaccines meant for the upcoming weeks have already been used. An order for a further 100,000 has been moved up, and an order for a further 50,000 has been placed.
Maria Webb
19:38 Rapid testing will be used at the airport, in schools, in emergency settings, and in homes for the elderly.
Maria Webb
19:37 As of 28th October, rapid testing is to be introduced.
Maria Webb
19:37 However, masks must now also be worn in the streets and in any public outdoor space. Anyone who does not adhere to this risks getting fined. Authorities are allowing a week for adjustment to this regulation prior to handing out fines.
Maria Webb
19:36 There are a number of exceptions, such as being alone in a private vehicle, within your own home, and being alone in an office at work.
Maria Webb
19:35 Up till so far, masks have been obligatory in public transport, in spaces for public services such as shops. As of tomorrow, the use of masks must be used everywhere.
Maria Webb
19:34 Entertainment and catering establishments will all be closing at 11pm, as of next Monday. This includes bars and band clubs.
Maria Webb
19:33 He states that this can be combatted with education, and with enforcement of the measures.
Maria Webb
19:31 Fearne reminds that the previous measures put in place are still applicable. He states that a phenomenon called "Covid fatigue" is becoming widespread as the pandemic stretches on.
Maria Webb
19:30 Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne steps in.
Maria Webb
19:29 Bars and local band clubs will close at 11pm.
Maria Webb
19:28 The PM states that the obligatory use of mask is to be further widespread, and also will be increasing the power of authorities by introducing fines.
Maria Webb
19:27 Effective, crucial but sustainable measures are to be announced today.
Maria Webb
19:25 There is no magic balance between the measures that aid health and the same measures' effects on normal life.
Maria Webb
19:25 He appeals for responsibility, and for respect towards others.
Maria Webb
19:24 Next Monday is to bring about new economic measures to help safeguard jobs.
Maria Webb
19:23 The press conference is to treat the pandemic in Malta and measures that balance health and economy.
Maria Webb
19:23 The third discussion was about the pandemic and the rising amount of cases across Europe.
Maria Webb
19:22 Abela states that the issue of illegal immigration from Africa was also discussed, and that Africa should be considered as a continent that holds opportunities, and not only as a problem.
Maria Webb
19:21 He explains that Brexit was discussed and that our country has a plan both in the event that an agreement is reached, and also in the event that it isn't.
Maria Webb
19:21 PM Robert Abela explains that he just arrived from the EU Summit in Brussels, where many discussions were held.
Maria Webb
19:07 Welcome to the live blog! Newsbook.com.mt will be updating this as the press conference progresses.
Maria Webb