Prime Minster Robert Abela did not say whether bars and clubs will be reopening or not on the 1 December when asked by The Malta Independent.
Towards the end of October of this year, the government introduced a number of new restrictive measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. This included the complete closure of bars and clubs starting from 29 October until 1 December at 6 am.
On Tuesday, The Malta Independent asked PM Abela if the government still plans to have bars and clubs to open in two weeks’ time considering that the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported daily remains generally over the three-digit mark and that the number of active cases has exceed 2,000 people.
Abela did not commit to a direct answer, explaining that “naturally one has to revaluate the situation as we get closer to the date and see if it needs to be extended.”
He said that this decision will be taken in accordance with the advice of the Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci and the Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne.
“One primary focus will be safeguarding people’s health,” he said. “We are seeing that there has been no exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases with the help of the measures that were put in place and a good number of people are recovering too. When we look at other countries, we can see that they have lost control on the rate of infection, so I appeal for everyone to keep being cautious.”
Abela explained that he acknowledges and understands the difficulties that bar and club owners are experiencing as their livelihood depends on their business. He ensured that whatever decision the authorities take by the end of this month, the government will keep sustaining these individuals.
“Up until this very morning we had Cabinet discussion on how we will keep sustaining anyone who is going through this.”
Asked to elaborate on what kind of added measures are being discussed to help the business owners in question, he said that such details will be announced on a later date while insisting that the principal focus will be on safeguarding people’s employment.
In an interview with The Malta Independent on Sunday, Fearne said that as temperatures begin to drop in the winter months, the number of Covid-19 cases is expected to increase further. He said that a Covid-19 vaccine is, if all trials succeed, scheduled to be ready for distribution in January 2021, and that Malta will be able to vaccinate its whole population within six months from that point.