The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Police officers authorised to enter residences to see if Covid measures are followed, Gauci confirms

Thursday, 1 April 2021, 15:17 Last update: about 13 days ago

Superintendent of Health Charmaine Gauci has confirmed that police officers have been delegated the authority to enter private property to check if Covid-19 measures are followed, so long as a report is filed.

This was first reported by The Malta Independent on Sunday last weekend.

ADVERTISEMENT

In her weekly press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Gauci was asked by the press if police officers are allowed to enter one’s home to see if Covid measures are adhered to on the basis of a report.

In response, Gauci said that through the Public Health Act, a number of entities – amongst them the police – are able to enforce laws and ensure that Covid measures are respected. As Superintendent of Health, Gauci said she can “delegate authority so that diverse enforcement agencies can enforce laws” on the general public. This includes entering private property.

Police officers are only allowed to enter property, however, on the basis of a report or “if there are suspicions that there is a residence where a number of people are congregating”, Gauci confirmed.

Alongside the police, Gauci said that environmental health officers, Armed Forces Malta (AFM), Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and Local Enforcement Systems Agency (LESA) have also been delegated authority to enforce laws on the public.

Last week, a police spokesperson told The Malta Independent that police are authorised to enter and inspect “any areas and premises” to enforce regulations on residents and any others present.

This initiative was authorized to restrict private gatherings to people coming from two households. Previously, people from four households were allowed to meet under the same roof.

"With regards to the legal notice related to Groups of Persons in Residential Properties, the Superintendent of Public Health has delegated the authority to the Police to enforce the mentioned regulations, in accordance with Article 5 of the Public Health Act (Chapter 465 of the Laws of Malta)," the police spokesperson said.

The amount of people allowed to meet in public has also been reduced recently, with only two members from different households allowed to meet outside, instead of four. Those who breach this measure will be subject to a €300 fine per person. These measures have been announced to curb the spread of the virus over the Easter holidays and will last until the ceasing of the holidays on 11th April.

Gauci has urged Maltese and Gozitan citizens to stay responsible over the Easter holidays and ensure that these new restrictions are not breached.

  • don't miss