Prime Minister Robert Abela has repeatedly breached mask-wearing rules, even sharing photos of himself without a face covering in situations where a mask is mandatory.

Mask rules were relaxed in summer, allowing up to two fully vaccinated individuals to be out in public without one. But a raft of regulations is still in place.

At indoor events, “masks must be worn at all times and can only be removed when eating or drinking”, the regulations say.

Outdoors, the only people who can go maskless are “a person or a group of up to two persons who are in possession of a vaccination certificate…”

But, in the span of a few days, Abela breached these rules repeatedly, with photos of him doing so shared on his Facebook page.

One of the pictures was taken during his visit to the SiGMA Summit earlier this week at which he speaks with three other individuals. None of them are wearing masks.

In another photo, uploaded by the Labour Party on its Facebook page, with Abela’s page also linked, he is shown taking a selfie with a large group of graduates who visited party headquarters. Not a face covering is in sight.

Contrast that to a photo of Health Minister Chris Fearne greeting graduate nurses: practically everyone is wearing a mask.

Abela was also photographed without a mask when he visited the set of the film starring Russell Crowe a few weeks ago.

Times of Malta has contacted the Office of the Prime Minister for a comment on the matter.

Last year, Abela’s decision to remove his mask had prompted the Institute of Maltese Journalists to express disappointment “at the complete disrespect” with which the government treated the laws of Malta, journalists, the public and health recommendations.

At the time, the OPM had said Abela was consistently wearing a mask according to the terms of the legal notice, removing it only to address the public.

In recent weeks, other government MPs made headlines for disregard of masking rules.

On Tuesday, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis seemed to have got the rules the wrong way round when he took off his face covering during a parliamentary committee meeting, informing fellow MPs he had mild flu.

Most government MPs are not seen wearing masks in parliament, sparking criticism from the public about being made to obey the rules while the politicians are allowed to flout them.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us