With news that around 118,000 people will go into lockdown on Saturday, supermarkets, pharmacists and ATMs have seen long lines of people stocking up on food, medicine and cash. 

These new rules directly affect people over 65, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions. Anyone who lives with them must stay home as well.

Queues formed outside Lidl in Żejtun from 7am on Friday morning, while inside shoppers were not exactly observing social distancing rules.

Crowded shops did not allow people to observe social distancingCrowded shops did not allow people to observe social distancing

Things were a bit calmer at Lidl in Santa Venera where shoppers told us what they were buying and how they were feeling about the next phase.

Shoppers tell us why they are stockpiling essentials Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Many elderly people were among those shopping including one 65-year-old woman who said she was out getting supplies for her and her husband who was safe at home. "I'm quite allright about Coronavirus," she said. "I am healthy and my husband is healthy."

Another 81-year-old man called George had come out to get some groceries for himself and his wife. "I'm not nervous about Coronavirus. I have two daughters and they have been coming to visit us at weekends to get us things.

While 63-year-old Albert said he was shopping for his family. "I just got some juices and things for the kids and some bread for myself. When asked how he was dealing with the current situation he said: "I don't want to think about it, because if you think about it you'll get depressed."

Also waiting patiently in line in the pouring rain was a German man who moved to Malta one month ago to start a job in customer service and has been forced to stay inside for most of his time here. "I was really hoping for some good weather, but what can you do? Today, I'll pick up the usual groceries like milk and meat and hope this will all be over in a month."

Customers wait to enter banks on Friday morning PHOTO: Jonathan Zigli BorgCustomers wait to enter banks on Friday morning PHOTO: Jonathan Zigli Borg

There were also extra-long queues at certain branches of APS and HSBC banks, as well as many pharmacists as people withdrew money or stocked up on medicine for themselves or loved ones who will now have to stay home indefinitely. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.