Malta has recorded a rise of 208 new COVID-19 cases, one of the highest daily numbers this month.

The last time the number of cases was higher than that was on January 12, when 240 new cases were recorded, according to the health authorities dashboard.

Another three patients died, number of people who have died while infected with COVID-19 to 261.

Two men, aged 87 and 69 died at Mater Dei hospital, while an 87-year-old died at Gozo General.

The statistics also show that 200 people recovered overnight, meaning there are currently 2,687 active cases of COVID-19 in Malta.

The new cases were detected from 3,565 swab tests, resulting in a positivity rate of 5.83%. 

So far, 23,512 vaccine doses have been administered, including 2,095 second doses. 

In a letter to the European Union, Health Minister Chris Fearne said that if there is evidence a third vaccine dose is required to ensure immunity from the virus, “it is important that it is made available to member states when required”.

New restrictions for February were introduced on Wednesday with Prime Minister Robert Abela saying restaurants must shut earlier, holiday rentals will be fined for overcrowding and people will be encouraged to stay in their cars on the Gozo ferry.

On Tuesday, he also said that bars will not reopen as planned on Monday.

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