The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

Covid-19: All legal notices to be lifted when public health emergency withdrawn – Fearne

Giulia Magri Monday, 15 June 2020, 12:55 Last update: about 27 days ago

All legal notices linked to the Covic-19 pandemic will be withdrawn when the public health emergency declaration will be withdrawn, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said today.

"Once the legal notice is removed we will still recommend individuals to continue following guidelines such as wearing masks in big public areas and keeping up hygiene."

On Sunday, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that Covid-19 public health emergency is to be lifted.

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Questioned by journalists, Fearne did not answer directly as to whether this decision was taken too early but he said that in Europe the number of Covid-19 cases is decreasing.

"Not just in Malta, but we are seeing that in the rest of Europe cases are dropping; but not all over the globe. In America and Africa, cases are actually increasing," said Fearne.

Europe is beginning to ease measures, but this does not mean that people should not remain vigilant. "When there are big groups of people we still recommend people to wear masks; if there are big groups try to avoid them."

Regarding big events such as feasts and weddings, Fearne recommended that social distancing still stays in place. "The virus is still with us yes, so it is important that people remain aware and social distancing remains, even once we remove the capping of 75 people."

When asked why tourists visiting Malta from 1 July do not have to self isolate, Fearne explained that the countries chosen have a list of criteria which satisy Malta's safety requirements. "1 July is still far away and yes we announced this because people need to plan. All of Europe is opening and each country is following their own risk assessment."

Fearne was also asked regarding the Pharma giant AstraZeneca, the company which  struck a deal with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance to supply up to 400 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. When asked whether Malta is part of this deal, Deputy Prime Minister said that he has had a number of discussions with a number of foreign Health Ministers in Europe and also with European commissioner. '"Yes, Malta is part of the plan and the Maltese will have the vaccine once it is produced."


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