A total of 27 people tested positive for COVID over the past 24 hours, registering the lowest number of cases since September 30.

Another 30 people recovered, meaning that Malta currently has 583 active cases of coronavirus.

Two male COVID patients died between Thursday and Friday, with the total toll since the beginning of the pandemic standing at 405.

Both victims were aged 67 and passed away at Mater Dei Hospital.

Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci is providing details in her weekly update which you can follow live here.

According to data published by the health authorities on Facebook, so far, 264,658 Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccine doses have been administered - 80,671 of which are second doses.

Healthcare workers administered 5,386 vaccine doses on Thursday.

According to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, people will "likely" need a third dose of his company's COVID shot within six to 12 months of vaccination, while elsewhere defending the relatively higher cost of the jab.

Meanwhile, the local health authorities plan to allow restaurants to reopen by mid-May but bars and band clubs will remain shut for longer under a yet-to-be-announced timeline to further ease COVID-19 measures.

Sources close to Malta’s roadmap for exiting the semi-lockdown say the authorities plan a staged approach, opening restaurants in the first weeks of May and then assessing the impact on infections before reopening bars.

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