Total Lockdown Dismissed in Malta

In view of the high numbers of daily cases being registered in Malta, concerns have been raised by several parties and talks of a strict lockdown once again re-surfaced. Whilst Malta never implemented a full lockdown, as certain industries, namely those servicing the property sector continued to operate, other non-essential service providers were forced to close.

The recent rumours and pressures applied by medical personnel have sparked a statement from the Prime Minister, Robert Abela who dismissed the idea of another lockdown. Although other countries within the European Union have entered into new lockdowns, Malta will not follow suit according to the Prime Minister. These comments were made to address rumours that Malta is on the verge of implementing much tighter COVID-19 restrictions.

The Prime Minister also commented that he did not know from where a supposed list that would place the country in a state close to lockdown originated from. In a nutshell, the Prime Minister is referring to a list of measures which was being shared extensively on WhatsApp, including the closure of all restaurants, bars, cinemas, pools and gyms.

This announcement comes in light of the fact that Malta has grown accustomed to registering over a hundred cases a day, sometimes exceeding the two hundred mark. This is also combined with the fact that other countries in Europe such as England, France, Germany and Ireland have all entered into lockdown.

The Prime Minister emphasised that Malta is performing better than other countries where with just a few restrictions, life is relatively normal. He referred to the fact that countries entering lockdown is a tragedy. At the same time however, Robert Abela stated that by no means this is a moment to relax. Although things are going well, the situation may change rapidly. Relaxing the existing COVID-19 restrictions could potentially mean tighter measures in the future, so a balance is needed.

Robert Abela expressed sympathy and stated that the government remains sensitive to businesses that are being impacted by COVID-19, however now is not the time to relax measures. Since the first few cases in March, Malta has registered over seven thousand cases, with an approximate one percent mortality rate.

In view of this increase in COVID-19 cases, Malta has introduced new measures, including the mandatory wearing of masks as one leaves his household, together with further restrictions for bars and restaurants. Whilst restaurants may serve alcohol, snack-bars may only serve food and service can only be delivered till 23:00. Bars have been instructed to close until the beginning of December.

What are your views on the Prime Minister’s stance? Do you think that the current measures are enough? Let us know in the comments section below.

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