Malta’s business community has outlined a series of strict measures it says should be introduced temporarily to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce suggested gatherings should be restricted further, masks should be mandatory outside the home, and some leisure outlets should be closed. 

In a strongly-worded statement, the organisation said the spread of the virus was “threatening the breakdown of society”.

It came a day after the island recorded its highest-ever daily number of new cases on Wednesday when 106 new patients were confirmed.

“In the interest of the physical and economic health of the country, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry calls for the introduction of new stronger measures, to urgently contain the recent spike in virus contagion numbers," it said.

Malta has banned gatherings of more than 100 people inside and more than 300 outside to help reduce the number of cases. But authorities have so far stopped short of drastic measures introduced in other countries, such as the UK, which bans groups larger than six people and has restricted households from mixing.

Masks are already mandatory in shops, on transport and in and some enclosed public places. 

The chamber also called for enforcement measures to be increased and an awareness campaign on the seriousness of the global pandemic. 

It demanded an urgent meeting of the MCESD, to discuss the “dire situation”.

The Chamber said reopening of schools, scheduled for September 28, “can only happen under heightened measures and disciplined enforcement”.

“The country must help control the spread of the virus as a national priority, as the country’s health services risk becoming inundated very soon,” it said.

“There is a very real threat out there which must be taken seriously. This is threatening the breakdown of society. We must work together in order to safeguard society.”

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