Malta’s bars are to remain closed throughout March, while restaurants will be allowed to remain open until midnight, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Bars and clubs were ordered shut at the end of October when Malta’s second wave of infections had spiked. Initially, they were set to reopen on 1st December, however persistently high daily COVID transmission rates have resulted in closure orders being extended each month.
Back in January, when Government announced it would again extend the bar closures for February, it had also announced a €2.2 million aid package for owners, met with a mix of criticism and praise.
While the onetime payment of €2,870 allotted to commercial bar owners has been viewed as a lifeline to smaller establishments, larger ones have stressed that the aid is but a drop in the ocean.
Restaurants, meanwhile, will see one more hour of custom, with the 11pm curfew changed to a midnight curfew throughout March.
Minister Fearne also said certain social distancing restrictions at elderly homes will be lifted in view of 90 per cent of residents having been completely vaccinated against COVID-19.
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No timeframe was given as to when new stock will be supplied to other outlets