Malta to open its borders to 19 countries from July
Malta embarked on a new phase, with Prime Minister Robert Abela declaring that the country can now leave coronavirus behind and lead to normality once again. On Monday evening, the Maltese Prime Minister announced the relaxation of more measures against coronavirus which will come into effect on Friday 5th June including the opening of child care centers, bars and the law courts. The measures are based on social distancing, wearing of masks, and hand hygiene. Masses in churches will resume from mid-June, but mass events will not be permitted and schools will remain closed until September.
The Maltese Prime Minister confirmed that as from the 1st of July the Malta International Airport will re-open and seaports will also reopen too. Malta will open its borders to 19 countries considered safe. However, two crucial markets for Malta’s tourism sector, the United Kingdom and Italy, excluding Sardegna u Sicily, are not included in the list of first countries to visit. The other countries include: Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland. Traveling will be subjected to simple protocols which would not people off from going abroad but will ensure health and safety.
Associations representing the medical professions are showing great concern that the government’s decisions go against the advice of Public Health experts and are without the necessary scientific basis. They are urging him to publish the strategy and risk assessment as the reason behind the lifting of regulations, to show that the Maltese government is following the advice of health experts. Last week, Malta registered three deaths and according to health professionals there is still community transmission. The total number of active cases is 73 and the number of recoveries stands at 537.
However, during Monday’s press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said that the war against coronavirus “was won”. He highlighted that the rate of transmission went down to 0.5.
On Monday 8th June, the Maltese government will announce a budget to respond to the crisis imposed by the pandemic, described by the Prime Minister as a multi-million budget. “This budget will address all strata of society and is aimed at increasing consumption and to reignite the country’s economy to the full.”
The Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises stated that businesses are doing worse than when they were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chamber noted that despite months have now passed and that the situation does not seem to improve. Some restrictive coronavirus measures were lifted in May, with bars and restaurants were allowed to open subjected to a number of conditions.