Malta unveils more restrictive measures to curb virus spread

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VALLETTA, March 28 (Xinhua) — Malta on Sunday announced more restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including cutting the number of people for group gatherings in public spaces from four to two.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that groups of more than two people will be prohibited, including in queues on bus stops, unless social distancing of two metres is observed.

The fine for people breaching these new rules has been tripled to 300 euros per person.

The new measures, effective from next Wednesday till April 11, will not apply to people who live in the same household.

As of Monday, any traveller arriving in Malta from any other country will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Otherwise, the traveller may be subject to testing upon arrival or mandatory quarantine.

In view of the new variant strains of COVID-19, unauthorized travel to and from the UK, Brazil and South Africa is still not permitted. Maltese citizens or persons with a valid Malta resident permit currently in these countries may return to Malta, if they have a recent negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday the enhanced restrictions were needed so that, come April 11, decisions can be taken to lift some measures, including the re-opening of schools. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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