From 8am this morning all non-essential shops and services will be closed, and public gatherings will be banned. These new measures were announced yesterday by Health Minister Chris Fearne in response to the current coronavirus outbreak. Fearne made the announcement after Malta registered 17 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 90 cases.
According to a list published yesterday evening in the government gazette, the shops which have to close are those whose main business relate to the sale of clothing, sportswear, jewellery, handbags, and leather goods, costume jewellery and accessories, footwear, non-prescription eyewear, perfumeries, beauty products, haberdasheries, soft furnishings, household appliances, souvenirs, discounted items, luggage, toys, hobbies, furniture, florists and vaping.
The decision covers shops whether operating in shopping malls and/or elsewhere. They may still sell and provide delivery services of their products in the community.
Other outlets providing non-essential services that also have to close are hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, spas, nail artists, nail technicians, and tattooists.
Any shops or outlets not obeying the order will be faced with a €3,000 fine.
Fearne said the decision to shut non-essential shops and services was taken because authorities were now seeing community spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Read the Statement issued by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry for Health.