Those refusing to wear a medical or cloth mask can be fined up to €100 but they will have their penalty halved if they admit they broke the law and pay up front. 

On Friday, the government said it was introducing a fine for not wearing a mask on transport and in shops on the insistence of social partners.

Over the past weeks, health authorities have continued to carry out random inspections to ensure people follow COVID-19 mitigation measures, and on Saturday the government issued a legal notice on the “mandatory use of medical or cloth masks”.

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Masks must be worn in retail outlets, on public transport, on the Gozo ferry, in the Ċirkewwa and Imġarr terminals and the Malta International Airport.

On conviction, those caught not wearing a mask will be fined €100.

However, if they admit to the offence and pay the penalty before proceedings kick off in front of the Commissioner for Justice, the penalty will be reduced to €50.

Asked whether visors could no longer be used, considering the wording of the legal notice, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said visors were accepted.

Recent reports have alleged that visors may be ineffective in protecting against coronavirus, however, virologist Chris Barbara has told Times of Malta that the health authorities’ position on the wearing of visors remains the same.

Visors should be used in confined spaces such as shops and salons if masks are not used.

Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

How to put on and remove a mask

Health experts have, over the past months, warned that masks can protect the wearer and others, however, if used in the wrong way, they could cause more harm than good. 

If you are wearing a surgical mask, pull your hair away from your face and wash your hands.

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Place top side of mask over the nose and press the metal part down, pinching the bridge of the nose.

Loop the elastic bands around the ears and make sure the mask covers the area from the bridge of the nose all the way down to the chin.

Do not touch the mask while wearing it and wash your hands if you touch it by mistake

Before removing it wash your hands thoroughly, grab the mask by the loops, pull it over your face and dispose of it in a dustbin. Wash your hands again. 

 

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