The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Covid-19 regulations repealed, vulnerable people no longer required to stay at home

Karl Azzopardi Thursday, 4 June 2020, 11:02 Last update: about 3 months ago

A legal notice within the Public Health Act (L.N. 232) titled ‘Repealing Regulations, 2020’ has revoked the remaining Covid-19 regulations that were implemented over the past four months in which the pandemic has been in Malta. This includes the subsidiary legislation that saw anyone classifying as a vulnerable individual to remain in their residence due to higher health risks.

On Monday evening, the Prime Minster announced the third and final relaxation of measures alongside Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci and Health Minister Chris Fearne who said that Malta “has won the war” against the pandemic.

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The legal notice states that “in exercise of the powers conferred by articles 26 and 27(c) of the Public Health Act, the Minister responsible for public health, in concurrence with the Superintendent of Public Health, has made the following regulations.”

The regulations show that as of next tomorrow, 5 June, the following orders and regulations are hereby being repealed;

Protection of Vulnerable Persons Order (S.L. 465.33)

On 28 March, the Superintendent of Public Health Gauci issued an order for all vulnerable people to remain in their residence, as a measure to reduce, remove or eliminate the threat to public health seeing that they are more prone to getting complications if they contract the virus.

This applied to persons over 65 year of age or over, pregnant women and persons suffering from chronic illnesses or medical conditions listed in the subsidiary legislation.

This did not apply in the event that the vulnerable persons need to leave their residence to attend medical appointments, obtain medical care or treatment, acquire food, medicine or other daily necessities, or attend other essential or urgent personal matter. The point was to limit the period outdoors to the least time possible.

The Superintendent could also exempt anyone within this category in her absolute discretion.

Number of Persons in Public Spaces (Increase in Number of Persons) Order (S.L. 465.41)

This order was first issued on 30 March, wherein the Superintendent of Public Health had made it illegal to congregate in groups of more than three people in public, in order to limit interaction between people and reduce chances of transmission.

Anyone who did not abide by this rule was liable to a €100 fine each.

This number was later increased to four people and, more recently, the number went up to six.

Starting from next Friday, this limitation will be completely removed, however, the health authorities have released guidelines which show that group events are limited to seventy-five persons and social distancing regulations must still be abided by.

Closure of the Local Tribunals Order (S.L. 465.38)

From 30 March, local tribunals and the registry were forced to close under the order of the Superintendent of Public Health.

This order also stated that any legal, judicial or administrative time-limit for the filing of any acts before the local tribunals shall be suspended for a period of twenty days from the lifting of the repeal of this order by the Superintendent. Additionally, any service of summons shall be suspended until a period of ten (10) days from the lifting of the repeal of this order by the Superintendent.

Closure of Places Open to the Public Order (S.L. 465.21)

On 17 March, Gauci ordered the closure of all bars, cinemas, gymnasiums, museums, exhibitions, discotheques, night clubs, indoor swimming pools, massage parlours, gaming premises including controlled ones, bingo halls, casinos and betting shops.

These will now be allowed to reopen as it was revealed during last Monday evening’s press conference but under strict protocols issued by the Malta Tourism Authority and the health authorities.

This comes a week after restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and clubs were allowed to reopen last week also under strict hygiene and social distancing protocols.

Enforcement of the Order relating to Closure of Places Open to the Public Regulations (S.L. 465. 24)

This subsidiary legislation was issued a day after the Closure of Places Open to the Public Order, 18 March, in order to ensure that the latter is strictly adhered to.

The regulations stated that anyone who did not abide by the provisions of the previously mentioned order was liable to the payment of a penalty of €3,000.

Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services Order (S.L. 465.27)

On 23 March, this legal notice saw the closure of non-essential service outlets including spas and tattooists, while vaping shops were only allowed to open solely and exclusively for sale of products permissible in accordance with the Tobacco (Smoking Control) Act and for no other service, and clients were not to remain inside the vaping shops after availing themselves of such products.

Enforcement of the order relating to Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-Essential Services Regulations (S.L. 465.28)

This subsidiary legislation was issued on the same day after the Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services Order in order to ensure that the latter is strictly adhered to.

The regulations stated that anyone who did not abide by the provisions of the previously mentioned order was liable to the payment of a penalty of €3,000.

 

 

 

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