As Europe braces itself for yet another spike in COVID-19 infections, the government announced on Friday no additional restrictions would be introduced in Malta for the time being.

But Health Minister Chris Fearne was also quick to point out that the few restrictions that still remain will stay in place while the authorities assess whether the Malta will also be experiencing an increase in the number of new infections.

Despite many now living their lives almost in the same way as they did before the pandemic hit in March 2020, a few measures remain in place, although questions over the enforcement of these rules have also been raised.

So, what are these rules?

Mandatory mask-wearing while out in the open was removed in July for those who are fully vaccinated against the virus. But when in indoor public places – such as shops, schools, hospitals and other similar locations – the mask must still be worn at all times, even by those who are fully vaccinated.

Masks should also be worn when groups of more than two people gather in outdoor public spaces or if one of the individuals is not vaccinated against the virus.

And groups of more than six people still cannot gather in public and neither can they sit at the same table at restaurants unless entry is restricted to the fully vaccinated.

Large gatherings in private homes are also still banned, meaning only four households can meet inside. The health authorities have told Times of Malta they are reviewing this rule but they have yet to announce any changes.

Travel to the island is also still restricted to those who have been inoculated against COVID-19 and recovery certificates – documents showing that a person has already contracted the virus – are still not accepted for entry into the island.

A raft of rules is also still in place for mass events. Attendees at any mass event, for instance, must be fully vaccinated to be allowed to attend. Masks must be worn at all times during the event, except while eating or drinking.

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