Malta’s Latest COVID-19 Mitigation Measures – August 2020

COVID-19

26 Aug 2020

This article offers an overview of the latest COVID-19 mitigation measures introduced in Malta in August 2020 and is an update of the article “Organised Public Mass Events - COVID-19 Measures - August 2020”.

The Organised Public Mass Events Regulations, 2020 (“Regulations”) which have been introduced by virtue of L.N. 322 of 2020 stipulate that the maximum capacity of attendees in any organised mass event shall not exceed that of 1 person per every 4 square metres of the space where such an event is being organised.

Additionally, it shall not be permissible for attendees to gather in groups of more than 10 persons, whereby a 2-metre distance between one group and another is to be maintained.

The Regulations stipulate that for any organised mass event exceeding 100 attendees, a prescribed risk assessment form is to be submitted by the event organiser with the Malta Tourism Authority (“MTA”). It is only after the MTA has given its approval that the event may be organised. The Organised Public Mass Events (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 introduced by L.N. 325 of 2020, have additionally provided that the number of attendees for an organised public mass event shall not exceed 100 persons inside the venue and 300 persons outside the venue. Furthermore, it is now prohibited to use ‘dance floors’ when organising public mass events. Event organisers who fail to abide by the aforementioned rules shall be liable to pay a € 3,000 fine upon conviction. L.N. 338 of 2020 has brought about the fourth amendments to the Regulations which provide that all stand up organized public mass event and all stand up organized events shall be prohibited.

L.N. 334 of 2020, amends the Regulations by stipulating that bars and clubs shall be permitted to serve food, or drinks with food, only to customers sitting at tables.

Moreover, L.N. 336 of 2020, which brings in force the Closure of Certain Places of Entertainment Regulations, 2020 provides that all discotheques and nightclubs shall be closed. Furthermore, it holds that any organised public boat party events shall be prohibited. Persons who fail to follow such rules shall be liable to pay a € 3,000 fine for each and every instance in which these rules have been breached.

Another set of regulations which have come into force via L.N. 326 of 2020 are the Mandatory Use of Medical or Cloth Masks Regulations, 2020. Such hold that a person is to wear a medical or cloth mask whenever he is:

  • inside retail outlets;
  • travelling on public transport;
  • travelling between Malta and Gozo (including in the respective Ċirkewwa and Imġarr terminals); and
  • within the terminal building of the Malta International Airport.

L.N. 327 of 2020 has amended the above to also allow the use of ‘visors’, apart from medical or cloth masks. Moreover, L.N. 335 of 2020 has also made the mandatory use of visors, medical masks or cloth masks when obtaining a service or visiting indoor public places.

Persons who do not follow such rules shall be liable to pay a € 100 fine upon conviction, for each and every instance in which these regulations are breached. However, if the offence is admitted and the penalty is paid before proceedings are commenced before the Commissioner for justice, the penalty applicable shall be reduced to € 50. 

By virtue of LN 333 of 2020, the Mandatory Tests for Certain Travellers Regulations, 2020 have come into force, whereby all travellers coming from specified countries as published in the Gazette by the Minister for Health, which in time may be revised, are to, upon their arrival in Malta, provide a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test (“Test”). Such Test should have been performed not longer than 72 hours prior to the person’s arrival in Malta. If a traveller fails to produce the Test he may be submitting to testing in Malta and may be subject to a quarantine order.

L.N. 337 of 2020 brings into force the Number of Persons in Public Spaces Regulations, 2020. Such rules denote that it shall be prohibited to have groups of more than 15 persons in public spaces, including queues and bus stops. This shall not apply to groups of persons in public if such persons live in the same residence, and to people who are waiting in queues or on bus stops if such are keeping a distance of 2 metres or more between them. Such number may in time be subject to revision. It is given that if a person fails to abide by any of these rules, he shall be liable to the payment of a penalty of € 100 for each and every instance that there has been a breached; however, if the offence is admitted and the penalty is paid before proceedings have commenced before the Commissioner for Justice, the penalty applicable shall be reduced to € 50.