Government announces closure of public places in an attempt to contain COVID-19 outbreak

In a continued effort to ensure that the current situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak is contained and that contagion is limited as much as possible, the Government has published the following legal notices relating to the closure of places open to the public and an extension period to the closure of schools:

1. Legal Notice 76 of 2020, amended by Legal Notice 82 of 2020 which orders the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, cinemas, gymnasiums, museums, exhibitions, clubs, discotheques, night clubs, open-air markets, indoor swimming pool, national swimming pool, massage parlours, gaming premises including controlled gaming premises, bingo halls, casinos, gaming parlours, lotto booths and betting shops. These measures shall come into effect on the 18th March 2020.

Restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and kiosks shall continue to provide delivery and takeaway services to the community and restaurants situated in hotels shall continue to provide room service to hotel guests and delivery services in the community.

Any person who fails to abide by the provisions of the above-mentioned regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty of €3,000 for every occasion that the order for closure of places open to the public is breached.

In addition, any breach of the provisions of the above-mentioned measures relating to the closure of places open to the public shall be regarded as a scheduled offence for the purposes of the Commissioners of Justice Act (Chapter 291 of the Laws of Malta).

2. Legal Notice 77 of 2020, which shall come into force on the 21st March 2020, extends the closure of schools for students and educators until further notice has been issued.

The public is being urged to minimise social interaction as much as possible and to avoid mass gatherings to limit the risk of transmission.