The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Bars, restaurants who welcome only vaccinated clients will have relaxed protocols – Fearne

Wednesday, 15 September 2021, 14:47 Last update: about 2 months ago

Catering establishments such as bars and restaurants who choose to accept only those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to take advantage of relaxed protocols on how they operate, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced. 

Speaking in a press conference, where he also announced changes to Malta’s travel quarantine procedures, Fearne said that the government had been approached by a number of businesses who wanted to open exclusively to vaccinated customers.

In this regard, Fearne said that the government and health authorities had not limited going to a bar or restaurant to those who are fully vaccinated only. 

That lack of a limitation will remain in place, Fearne said. 

However, a set of revised – and relaxed – protocols for those establishments who wish to accept only vaccinated customers will be published towards the end of this week, the Health Minister added. 

Amongst the protocol changes are likely reductions in the amount of people who can be served owing to social distancing regulations and possibly also extending opening hours for these establishments. 

Fearne said that health authorities will be in consultation with representatives of these sectors in order to draft the new protocols.

Standing and sitting mass events are already limited only to those in possession of a recognised vaccination certificate, but bars and restaurants never had such a limitation.  The discretion on whether such a limitation will now exist for these establishments will fall onto the establishments themselves.

Not much information was given on the system catering establishments will implement following the change in protocol. However, Fearne remarked that this might mean extending opening hours or reducing the distance between tables.

A number of countries have already implemented this system. Authorities will ensure that rules are enforced for those venues that opt in, Fearne said.

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