With non-essential shops and services due to reopen next Monday, restaurants and bars have continually decried being left out of the Government’s reopening timelines.
Restaurants have been ordered shut, permitted only to serve take-aways and deliveries, since 5th March, while bars have endured closures since end October.
At a press conference launching a start-up fund award, called TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri was pressed about when restaurants and bars can begin accepting customers in-house again.
Minister Schembri stressed that because of the current situation, Government is informing the public of reopening measures within a period of days before such relaxation measures come into effect.
“In the coming days, we will announce the second stage of relaxation measures,” he said, however, it remains to be seen whether the upcoming announcement will include an update on the reopening of restaurants. In addition to shops and services being allowed to reopen on 26th April, the current limit of groups of two in public will be increased to four.
The Minister expressed sympathy with those impacted by restrictions, adding that so far measures have had the desired effect in bringing case numbers down.
He also stressed the importance of balancing health and the economy, adding that assistance will continue to be granted as required.
According to a Times of Malta report citing sources “close to Malta’s roadman for exiting semi-lockdown”, restaurants are set to reopen in mid-May, while an assessment of the impact of this relaxation measure will be carried out before allowing bars to reopen.
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