Charmaine Gauci from whoswho link

An announcement on the relaxation of more COVID restrictions will take place in the coming days, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci has revealed.

Speaking on Times of Malta’s ‘Ask Charmaine’ programme, she explained that the new restrictions will focus more on personal responsibility, as the vaccines are working and have proved to be a solution to allow authorities to relax the measures.

She was speaking after newly re-elected Prime Minister Robert Abela stated on Monday that “it is time to lift all COVID restrictions, leaving it up to people to choose how to safeguard their own wellbeing.”

Despite the Prime Minister’s promise to remove restrictions, there will be those who oppose such a move, especially considering the recent uptick in COVID cases which has seen 717 cases registered on Wednesday.

As things stand, there remain a number of measures in place restricting events and the hospitality industry.

Notably, standing events and gatherings remain illegal, and can only commence outdoors on 10th April, while restaurants and bars are only allowed to provide table service.

Additionally, tourists visiting Malta from most major markets (on Malta’s red list) are currently required to submit passenger locator forms and provide proof of a valid vaccination certificate recognised by the Superintendent of Public Health in order to enter the country without entering mandatory quarantine.

On this, Prof Gauci revealed that on the basis of a delegation by European authorities, changes are being made to rules for vaccination certificates for those aged under 18, meaning that as long as they took two doses of the vaccine, they will not need to take a booster for their certificate to be valid.

Prof Gauci also revealed that the more contagious sub variant of the Omicron strain has become the prevalent one in Malta, accounting for 86 per cent of cases nationwide.

On this, she pointed out that the increase in new cases has not been accompanied by a parallel increase in COVID-related hospital admissions.

She also faced questions about the flagrant violations of COVID restrictions during the recent political rallies, reiterating the importance of personal responsibility and stating that it is not mandatory to wear masks at outdoor events.

Health authorities want to encourage people to take care of their health, rather than simply imposing fines, she said.

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