Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Prime Minister Robert Abela, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne and the Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci announced that Malta will be in a position to start easing off some of its coronavirus restrictions as from Monday.
- Some non-essential shops will reopen from Monday. These include: Lotto booths; VRT testing stations; clothes, handbag and shoe shops; jewellers; perfumeries and cosmetics shops; Home decor; discount shops; toy and hobby shops; Furniture outlets; and florists.
- Travel between the two islands for non-essential trips will resume from Monday. However, the ferries will not take large groups and individuals will be required to wear a mask.
- Masks are needed to enter outlets and use public transport. Thermal screening will take place at malls.
- The gathering of people in public has been raised to four. Those who defy the social distancing rules and gather in a large group will be subject to a €100 fine.
- Two new coronavirus cases were detected in the last 24 hours.
During a press conference on Friday morning, Abela announced that retail outlets offering non-essential services will be allowed to reopen as from Monday. However, reopening will be subject to a number of restrictive measures.
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne announced that only two new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours. He also explained how the measures will be rolled back gradually and according to the evidence at hand.
Professor Gauci explained how the new measures will be rolled back. She stressed on the importance of the public’s cooperation as those living in Malta will transit to a “new” normal.
Prof. Gauci says that a new legal notice is being drafted to allow retail outlets to open subject to a number of provisions. Inspections will continue to take place.
He accuses the Opposition of wanting to create confusion.
Abela says that he was surprised by the question. He said that 80,000 jobs were retained. Malta has weathered the storm better than neighboring countries, he says.
Fearne says that for the health authorities was important to be well-prepared even if the worst does not happen. The Deputy Prime Minister explains that the authorities are hoping to keep the second wave under control. He highlights the importance of remaining prepared for the coronavirus since it was still around.
He warns that Malta might face two epidemics at the same time in Winter.
Government entities are providing masks to those coming. For private enterprises, the government will not be providing free masks to those entering the shop. It will be entirely up to the businesses whether to provide or not masks.
Fearne says that the use of masks was discussed among health authorities worldwide. He says that masks for frontliners were available. As for other masks, the health authorities will announce which masks will be used. Masks or visors will be used.
To the PM: You've denied that Neville Gafa was coordinating pushbacks, what was he doing exactly?
'Again about migration. I will answer it because we have nothing to hide. I will stand by what I've said. Our ports are unsafe. I have a duty towards the Maltese. We can't collapse before pressure. We will not reopen the ports. Neville Gafa did not coordinate any search and rescue in Malta. I categorically deny any pushback. Malta coordinated a rescue operations [in its area of responsibility] and took the migrants to an open port,' Abela says.
Gafa used his Libyan contacts.
Prof Gauci says that there are masks which are used in the health care system. We're recommending the use of masks in establishments to curb the spread of the virus. The authorities will publish more details on mask use later on today.
When will bars, cafes, hairdresser salons, and restaurants will reopen?
Abela says that his wish is to see the reopening of businesses. This will be totally dependent on the public's cooperation. They will be considered later.
The government has urged Maltese nationals abroad to return to Malta. One of your MPs, Konrad Mizzi is away. Can you comment on this?
Abela says that Konrad Mizzi is away, he is abroad. If he decides upon returning, he will not be treated any different from Maltese who were repatriated to Malta.
Abela says that today was a day to announce the rolling back measures and that the subject was not migration.
The government asked Gafa to contact his Libyan contacts to rescue migrants at sea. He stresses that Gafa's involvement was limited to just that.
Abela claims that the search and rescue convention provides for a state to coordinate an operation either using state assets or private assets.
He says that Malta's ports remains closed. He says that the decision was based taken by the Superintendent of Public Health.
Prof. Gauci said telework was important and part of social distancing regulations. She noted that teleworking functioned.
Abela says that there was no date for when the wage supplement will be stopped but this is not the time to stop giving it out. It will be given until our businesses are up and running.
Two cases – A Gozitan man who was asymptomatic and a resident at Hal Far open centre.
The total number of active cases stands at 96.
The amount of passengers allowed onto the Gozo ferry will be controlled. Masks will be worn on the ferry.
Any person who is sick has to remain home. Social distancing remains in place. The number of customers to be allowed in a retail outlet will be worked out according to the shop floor area.
Businesses will be required to work out their area and can only allow 1 person per 10 metres, Prof. Gauci says.
In the same way we have introduced the measures slowly, we will roll them back slowly, she says.
Each measure was proportional to our reality when they were introduced, Prof. Gauci explained.
Fearne highlighted that while this measure was not enforced in our homes, one should make an effort to refrain from inviting people over.
Before entering a shop, a hand sanitizer will be available.
Thermal screening will be obligatory at shopping malls.
Social distancing rules will remain in place.
The opening will be subjected to a number of restrictions.
As from Monday the following may reopen subject to a number of restrictions;
VRT testing centres
Perfumery shops (Beauticians and hairdressers are not allowed to open yet)
Shops selling furniture
CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds will be carried out at Mater Dei as from Monday.
Health services will be increased gradually, Fearne says.
All health centres will resume providing free vaccines to our children as from Monday, Fearne announces.
A new vaccine will be introduced from tomorrow.
Screening for cervical cancer will resume from Monday.
The first measure concerns the health services.
'The wage supplement will continue be given out to help our businesses,' he says.
The airport will remain closed.
On Thursday, two new coronavirus cases were registered bring the total number of cases to 465. Another twelve individuals had successfully recovered, including a person who is over 90 years. The total number of people who have successfully recovered stands at 351. A total of 110 cases remain active.