Not a very cheerful post, but a useful one : here are the latest developments concerning the coronavirus disease in Malta. I know that some of you intend to visit Malta soon, so I think it’s important to let you know what is going on in the country.
Therefore, I have gathered here the latest news about coronavirus in Malta, to keep you informed, in real-time if I can. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section, and I will do my best to answer them.
→ Coronavirus in Malta in real-time
→ Measures taken in Malta against the coronavirus
- Flights are suspended from March 21 to April 11 (except repatriations, cargo flights, etc).
- Anyone arriving to Malta from abroad – regardless of the country of origin – must undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days. Each violation is subject to a 3,000€ fine.
- Lockdown for : people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses.
- Closed : childcare centers and all types of schools (until next scholastic year), museums and tourist places, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas, theaters, non-essential stores (clothing, toys, hairdressers…).
Restaurants are allowed to serve take away and do home deliveries. Stores are allowed to do home deliveries as well.
- Canceled / forbidden : masses, cultural and religious events, various activities, public gatherings of 3 people or more.
- A valid reason is needed to take the ferry between Malta and Gozo (work, medical reasons, visiting relatives, deliveries). All passengers will be screened before boarding. The ferries will be fumigated every night.
- If you take the bus, you must give the exact amount to buy your ticket from the driver, because they are no longer allowed to give change (the ticket costs 1,50€).
- Commercial vessels and water sports operators are not allowed to disembark people in Gozo and Comino.
- Buses, bus shelters and terminals will be regularly fumigated.
→ Why such measures ?
The Maltese government took strong actions, quickly. Malta has around 490,000 inhabitants and is a very densely populated country : the situation could deteriorate very quickly if the number of infected persons increases.
20% of the Maltese population is over the age of 65.
Only one hospital would be able to manage a crisis with serious cases (Mater Dei), but the number of beds is limited. The government is currently taking steps to set aside 680 beds, fully dedicated to the coronavirus situation.
→ Precautions are needed, but no need to panic
For the moment, the situation seems to be under control in Malta, but it is everyone’s duty to limit the spread. Stay at home if you can, respect the hygiene advice and cancel your trips abroad.
The Maltese are preparing for the possibility of a national lockdown and are stockpiling food. It is advised to run errands so that you can last at least a week without having to go out, but don’t store astronomical quantities, because other people need supplies too.
It should be noted that the Maltese government is taking good measures to contain the virus, which is encouraging. The authorities did not wait for the situation to escalate.
The population also takes good precautions : many people wear gloves and masks, especially store employees.
The main risk is a cut in the food supply from the continent (especially from Italy), but Malta has enough stock to feed its population for a while. The archipelago also has agricultural production capable of feeding its inhabitants (basically, we won’t starve).
Overall, the population, although stressed, is calm and responsible.
→ What to do in case of symptoms ?
If you are in Malta and you have coronavirus symptoms, you should definitely not go out. Stay at home and call 111.
Call 112 (emergencies) only if really necessary.
→ If you are quarantined in Malta
You can call +356 21 41 14 11 to have food or medicine delivered to you.
For additional information, you can contact +356 21 32 40 86.
I’m sending my support to those who need it, wherever you are.
To finish on a lighter note with a bit of humor, here is a good Spotify playlist to pass the time if you are quarantined…