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Over the last seven days, Prime Minister Robert Abela, together with Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne, and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci, introduced several restrictive COVID measures to stem the spiralling transmission rates currently being experienced.

While Malta never exited the so-called second wave, February marked a grim turning point with case figures exploding. On Wednesday, Malta reached an all-time record of 510 new cases recorded in 24 hours.

Here’s the full list of restrictions, in place until 11th April – unless otherwise indicated:

  • Closure of bars and clubs
  • Banning of in-house dining at restaurants, take-aways and kiosks. Take-outs and deliveries continue to be permitted
  • Restaurants and ancillary facilities inside hotels will only be permitted to serve room-service to guests
  • Closure of non-essential shops & services, which includes clothes shops, shops selling sportswear, jewellery, handbag and skincare shops, perfumeries, shops selling beauty products, haberdasheries, shops selling furniture and/or soft furnishings, souvenir shops, discount shops, luggage shops, toy shops, vaping shops, hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, spas, nail technicians and tattooists.
  • Closure of schools as from Monday, with a shift to distance learning until 11th April
  • Closure of childcare centres
  • Crossings to Gozo limited for essential travel and those who own a property on the island
  • Limits on group gatherings from six now reduced to four
  • Closure of gyms and all sports activities
  • Closure of pools, cinemas, museums and theatres
  • Banning of wedding receptions and religious services, excluding legal ceremonies for weddings and funerals – in accordance with COVID protocols
  • Non-urgent surgeries postponed
  • Ban on public gatherings and social events
  • The number of people who can gather inside holiday-accommodation is limited to the number of bed-space on a property’s licence
  • Ban on boat parties
  • Hospital visits suspended
  • Introduced last year, masks-wearing continues to be mandatory in all public spaces, inside or outside

What can remain open?

Currently, essential shops and services are permitted to remain open. This refers to shops selling food or medicine, pet shops, banks, post offices, transport services, gardening shops, ironmongeries and stationaries.

Hotels and holiday accommodation are also permitted to remain open, however Malta’s residents cannot cross over to Gozo for such purposes.

Malta’s airports and ports continue to remain open.

Government offices and agencies to remain open, however a directive has been introduced for civil servants to work remotely, where possible.

How is Government assisting those businesses ordered shut?

Prime Minister Abela confirmed that all those which have been impacted by recent restrictions will be entitled to the full €800 wage supplement.

Restaurants and snack bars have been awarded €1,000 one time payment covering the current in-house dining ban.

For bars and clubs, which have been shut since end October, a one time payment will also be granted:

Category A, referring to commercial bars, will receive €3,820 to cover the end-October to mid-April closure. Bars forming part of a club, also known as Category B, will receive a payment of €2,490 and non-political clubs, Category C, will receive €1,660.

As for those businesses not impacted by the latest restriction, the COVID-19 wage supplement in its current form, that is calculated on the basis of loss of turnover, will continue until end June. Those businesses which continue to be impacted beyond this date will receive the wage supplement until the end of 2021.

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