Malta Imposes Further Restrictions to Combat Spike in COVID-19 Cases
05 January 2022
Throughout the holiday season, many countries in the EU and around the world have reported an increase in COVID-19 transmissions. In an effort to curb local transmission of the virus, on the 23rd of December 2021, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced the introduction of a number of new measures.
As from the 27th of December 2021, all events are to be seated while weddings and funerals may continue to be held in accordance with the protocols already in force. However, by virtue of Legal Notice 502 of 2021, restaurants and other establishments must close their doors by 1am. Sports events may proceed without any spectators present and visiting hours at the local general hospital, Mater Dei, have also been restricted.
The 27th of December also marked the day on which the vaccination drive for the booster dose opened applications for all those over the age of 18. Furthermore, as of the 17th of January 2022, the vaccine certificates for double dose vaccines, or the single dose in case of Johnson & Johnson, shall be valid for 3 months following the date of the last dose. The vaccine certificates indicating a booster dose shall then be valid for 9 months from the date of the booster dose. From the 17th of January 2022, the vaccine certificates, subject to the new terms of validity shall also be required to gain entry into certain public places such as restaurants, snack bars, bars, gyms, spas, public pools, cinemas and for sporting and other organised events.
The significant uptake of the booster dose on the Maltese islands has already impacted implementation of measures, as to date, there was no change in restrictions for care homes seeing as the elderly and those most at risk have already been given their booster dose and therefore there is far less risk posed for those individuals.