Robert Abela has apologised after being spotted again breaching his own government's mask-wearing rules. 

The prime minister was caught on camera without a mask talking to some people in Sliema restaurant MedAsia on Sunday before going upstairs to sit at a table with his family.

According to long-standing rules, masks must be worn indoors and can only be removed in restaurants while seated at a table and when eating or drinking. 

Anyone who fails to do so can face a fine of up to €100.  

Footage sent by reader showed PM Robert Abela without a mask indoors. Others have been blurred to protect their identity.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister said he had been having lunch with his family and had gone to use the restroom when the footage was taken. 

“Mask use is not obligatory when seated and it was an oversight that he went to the restroom without it," he said.

"In fact, the Prime Minister went in and out of the restaurant wearing the mask.

"The PM apologises for this oversight." 

This is not the first time that Abela has been captured in photos or on video breaching mask-wearing rules. In certain instances he shared the photos himself. One of the pictures was taken during his visit to the SiGMA Summit earlier in November at which he spoke with three other individuals. None of them wore face coverings.

In another photo, uploaded by the Labour Party on its Facebook page, he was shown taking a selfie with a large group of graduates who visited party headquarters.

Up until Monday,  masks were obligatory at all times – whether inside or outside.

As from Monday the rules were relaxed to allow people with an updated vaccine certificate to take off their mask if they are in the company of not more than one other person outdoors.

However, they remain obligatory indoors.

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