Social distancing? Crowds flock to Golden Bay

The world may still be in the grips of a pandemic – with Malta no exception to the rule – but you’d be hard-pressed to find too many signs of it in Golden Bay today.

High temperatures – the thermometer has breached the 30°C mark – have led to crowds flocking at the popular Mellieħa beach this afternoon. A moderate easterly wind also translates into favourable conditions for beaches in Malta’s northwest coast.

Of course, people may have been encouraged by indications that Covid-19 restrictions are being loosened further in the coming days, with restaurants and hairdressers likely to reopen according to Prime Minister Robert Abela.

Abela also directly encouraged the public to head to the beach, dismissing suggestions of a “second wave” by stating that the only waves to be found were out at sea. Though he urged people to continue to respect social distancing guidelines, he also hinted that the practice of fining those who do not follow these guidelines may soon come to an end, citing a preference for a more education approach.

Ramla l-Ħamra today

Despite the large number of people flocking to Golden Bay, the situation was vastly different in Gozo’s main sandy beach – ir-Ramla l-Ħamra – where crowds were sparse, as photos sent to show.

And not everyone is welcoming the loosening of restrictions, with the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses yesterday expressing its wariness at plans to resume air travel between countries deemed to be safe.