Mandatory quarantine will only apply for COVID positive cases from 2nd May onward, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed on Friday.
He said the new rule applies for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
This means that household contacts and primary contacts will not be legally required to quarantine from Monday 2nd May, but are encouraged to get tested to ensure that they too are not also positive.
For COVID positive cases, quarantine has been set at seven days, with a rapid test taken on the last day. Should the rapid test produce a positive result, the COVID positive person must quarantine for a further three days.
The new quarantine rules do not apply for residents in hospital and elderly homes. For example, should somebody staying in hospital or in a home for the elderly test positive, others also residing in the same room will be required to quarantine.
In addition, Minister Fearne announced that the red zone and dark red zone categorisations will continue to be used, however the dreaded passenger locator forms that have been widely perceived to be creating long queues at Malta International Airport will no longer be required.
A negative test result and / or a vaccine certificate will still be required to enter Malta, however.
From 2nd May, mask use will be legally required at hospital, on board flights and inside homes for the elderly. Mask use will no longer be required on board public transport, but is encouraged nonetheless.
Also from 2nd May, all restrictions on events, for both indoors and outdoors, will be lifted.
Minister Chris Fearne, together with Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci addressed a press conference on Friday afternoon, where they said all restrictions are being dropped from 2nd May, except for measures detailed above, such as quarantine.
It has been some time since the pair addressed the nation for COVID updates. Indeed, after the March 2022 general election, the health authorities stopped publishing daily COVID figures onto social media, with the Government’s strategy shifting towards adopting the philosophy of learning to live with the pandemic.
Currently, pandemic-related restrictions are at a minimum, with mandatory mask-use in place for indoor public spaces and businesses. Weddings and events are back with a bang, with outdoor events facing no restrictions or vaccine entry requirements. At this stage, restrictions are still in place for indoor and seated events – to change come 2nd May.
The new rules come into effect from 1st January 2024
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