Bars will be able to open on Wednesday as long as they seat patrons at tables and serve food with their drinks, according to a legal notice published Tuesday.
Government sources told Times of Malta that there had been “internal confusion” about the COVID-19 curbs announced by Health Minister Chris Fearne on Monday.
Addressing a press conference alongside public health chief Charmaine Gauci on Monday, Fearne had told reporters that clubs, nightclubs and discos would be closed as of Wednesday at 8am.
Bars and social clubs [każini], he said, would also closed, "except for those bars and każini that also have a restaurant. That means that at establishments that are a ‘bar and restaurant’, the bar will be closed and the restaurant will be open."
Fearne had gone on to say that alcoholic drinks would only be served to people eating.
The Monday announcement was taken by bar owners as a sign that they would have to pull down their shutters from tomorrow morning.
However, a legal notice published on Tuesday to introduce those measures includes a different stipulation.
The legal notice states that” “Bars and każini are to only serve food, and drinks with food, and only to clients seated at tables”.
Speaking to the Labour Party’s media outlet ONE after receiving questions from Times of Malta about the confusion, Fearne’s office confirmed that bars would in fact remain open.
A spokesperson for the minister confirmed that bars would have to serve food, including platters, along with drinks to patrons seated at table.
“It is only nightclubs and discos that are closed,” his office said.
The tightened restrictions were introduced after Malta reported consecutive days with high daily COVID-19 case numbers.
As of Tuesday, Malta had 648 active cases of the virus. Forty-eight new cases were identified between Monday and Tuesday.