Updated 9.38pm

People who test positive for coronavirus and are ordered to self-isolate will be fined €10,000 every time they disobey orders, the government announced on Monday evening.

Persons who have the Covid-19 virus, and who do not need to be admitted to hospital, are required to stay in isolation under medical observation.

All people under quarantine - whether confirmed cases or as a precaution - had to date been liable for a fine of €3,000 each time they were found in breach of orders.

That fine has now been raised to €10,000 for confirmed virus patients.

A legal notice was published late on Monday.

Earlier, parliament was told that amendments to the public health act would be fast-tracked to address grey areas in the powers of the Superintendent for Public Health in times of crisis.

The first reading of the changes, which include the possibility of raising fines, was moved by Health Minister Chris Fearne.

Government whip Glen Bedingfield said that in agreement with the Opposition, which will support the Bill, both the second and third readings are scheduled for Tuesday.

The Bill also outlines what should happen when the offender is not a Maltese resident. In such cases, unless the charge is being contested, the offender must affect the payment through electronic means such as a credit card or bank transfer within 12 hours when he or she was notified. During this period, the police shall have the power to keep the offender in detention.

Last week, authorities said a French man was fined €9,000 for quarantine breaches after being caught breaking the law five separate times. 

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