All those who arrive to Malta from any country in the world will have to go into mandatory self-quarantine from Friday, Robert Abela has announced.  

The prime minister is giving an update on measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus in Malta, which has 12 confirmed cases.

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Those who do not observe the two-week quarantine will have to pay €1,000 for every breach and police will carry out spot checks to make sure it is being observed.

"If someone breaches it every day of the quarantine, then they will have to pay €14,000," Abela said. "We will not tolerate people not abiding by quarantine terms."   

Fines and deportation

The stringent measures include removing the work permit of third country nationals or even deportation if they are found not to abide by the rules.

He said that in practice the measure would mean that most tourists would "think twice" about visiting Malta.

However, he said a full lockdown of the country, which would see all flights banned, would create problems for Maltese trying to get back home.

Previously the mandatory self-isolation rules had applied to Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland.

Earlier in the week, Malta closed all schools, universities and child care centres but businesses have not been ordered to close.

Abela appealed for prudence when taking children out. Having large gatherings of children in play grounds, he said, would defeat the purpose of having closed schools.  

Abela also encouraged the public to "continue the normal work day, while also being responsible".

Appealing for calm, he said: "Everything is under control. There is no need for panic."

Online medical consultations rolled out

Health Minister Chris Fearne said food would be delivered for those who need it and said there were three depots across the island, where food is being collected and then dispatched.  

Online medical consultations will also be rolled out to reduce the number of people going to health centres, he said, promising more details on this system in the coming days.

New measures were also announced to prevent the spread of the virus to Gozo, which does not have a single case.

As of Friday night, those boarding the ferry at Cirkewwa will be screened. 

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