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Lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions

Lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions

Over the weekend, several LNs have been published lifting some restrictive measures that had been imposed over the past two months. Here is a summary.

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Over the weekend a number of legal notices have been published giving effect to the lifting of some restrictive measures that had been imposed over the past two months. Hereunder is a summary:

Legal Notices 170, 171 and 172

Through these legal notices, the Order of the Superintendent of Public Health to close non-essential retail outlets is partially revoked. As from 4 May 2020, the following outlets can reopen - shops whereby their principal business relates to selling of clothing, sportswear, jewellery, hand bags and leather goods, costume  jewellery  and  accessories,  footwear, non-prescription eye-wear, perfumeries, beauty products, haberdasheries, soft furnishings, souvenir  shops,  discount stores, luggage shops, toy shops, hobby shops, furniture shops and florists. Lotto booths are also allowed to open as from 4 May.

However, vaping shops and outlets providing  non-essential  services (i.e. hairdressers,  barbers,  beauticians, spas, nail artists, nail technicians and tattooists) shall remain closed. Similarly, the revocation does not apply to bars, restaurants, cafeterias, snack  bars, cinemas, gymnasiums, museums, exhibitions, clubs, discotheques, night clubs, open-air markets, indoor swimming pools, national swimming pool, massage parlours, gaming premises including controlled gaming premises, bingo halls, casinos, gaming parlours and betting shops. Nonetheless, restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and kiosks  are allowed to provide delivery and take-away services to the community and  room service to hotel guests. 

The €3,000 penalty for each breach of the rules remains applicable.

The re-opening of the commercial establishments comes with a number of obligations announced during a press conference held on 1 May by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Health and the Superintendent of Public Health. Masks should be worn when one enters a shop (including shops that had not been ordered to close in the past months), a bank branch or uses public transport. Only 1 client shall be admitted in a shop for every 10 metres and shop-keepers need to display a notice of how many clients they can admit at any one time. Sanitizers are to be available in outlets upon entry. Temperature-reading is to take place at shopping malls. Changing rooms for clothes may not be used. The social distancing recommendations remain applicable. The Ministry for Health has published the details of the mandatory conditions, accessible here.

It has also been announced that the COVID-19 wage supplement will continue to apply for all the shops that can reopen.

Furthermore, in view of the increased demand for face masks and shields, an amendment to the Control on the Sale of Commodities Regulations (S.L. 117.15) will be published to fix the price of disposable surgical masks and face shields to a maximum of EUR0.95 and EUR5 each respectively. Such will be with effect from 4 May 2020. This has been announced in a press release by the Ministry for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses. Non-observance of this price control will be penalised by a penalty of not less than €116 and not more than €582 for the first offence and up to €2,329 for more than one offence.

Legal Notices 173 and 174

As from 4 May 2020, the number of persons that are allowed to gather in public spaces has increased from 3 to 4. This prohibition does not apply if the persons live in the same residence. 

Legal Notice 175

The order that prohibited non-essential travel between Malta and Gozo has been revoked with effect from the 4 May 2020.

Legal Notices 176 and 177

The Court registry has been removed from the order of the closure of the Courts of Justice with effect from 4 May 2020. However, the Courts of Justice remain closed and any time limits which were suspended prior to 4 May shall remain suspended.

Legal Notice 178

The order to close Vehicles Roadworthiness Testing Stations has been revoked with effect from the 4 May 2020.

Should you have any queries or wish to discuss further, please send an email to covid@kpmg.com.mt.

Lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

© 2020 KPMG, a Maltese civil partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.


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