One year since the island went into partial lockdown, Malta is entering a month-long shutdown with schools, shops and various places closing amid a virus spike.

On Wednesday the government announced a series of measures that will severely restrict people's everyday lives... again.

Here is what you can and cannot do for at least the next 30 days:

Shopping and services

You will not be able to have a haircut, your beard shaved, or your nails done at a salon, as non-essential shops and services have been shuttered.

Several shops have gone online and provide delivery across the island, so you should still be able to buy non-essentials, such as clothes, furniture, jewellery, toys and flowers. 

Construction works, mechanics and DIY shops will still be open while open air markets will remain closed.

Popular shops have already closed sections stocking non-essentials such as giftware, stationery and textile sections.

You will still be able to shop for groceries or restock your medical supplies from pharmacies, but make sure you wear a mask indoors and outdoors.

If you are one of the impacted businesses, you can apply to benefit from the wage supplement.

Valletta's quiet streets as non-essential shops are shuttered. Photo: Matthew MirabelliValletta's quiet streets as non-essential shops are shuttered. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Dining and entertainment

You cannot dine at snackbars, restaurants or hotel eateries, but you can order a take-out, delivery, or room service between 5am and midnight.

It is, therefore, better to start planning your Easter Sunday lunch at home, but remember, no more than four households can meet under the same roof.

And you cannot celebrate Easter or any other event on a boat, as boat parties are still banned.

You can still book accommodation away from home, as long as you stay in Malta if you are from Malta, or in Gozo if you are from Gozo.  Owners of holiday rentals must ensure the number of people renting their place is the same as that outlined on their licence.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to renew your online streaming service because the only entertainment you will have for the next 30 days will be at home. Cinemas, museums and theatres have been closed.

Mass events are of course still banned, and anyone caught organising a tombola, or a party will be fined €6,000.

Restaurants are closed until April but can provide take-away services. Photo: Matthew MirabelliRestaurants are closed until April but can provide take-away services. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Church functions, hospital visits

You can still get married in church, but the wedding celebrations will have to wait until after April 11.

And while you will have to go back to following Mass streamed online at 9.30am on TVM2, Knisja.mt or Newsbook.com.mt, you can still drop by at the main parish churches to pray on your own.

Funerals have not been impacted and will continue being held with the same restrictions as over the past months.

You will not be able to visit hospital inpatients, with some exceptions. You can still visit children, patients in the obstetrics ward and in any other extraordinary situation (contact customercare.mdh@gov.mt or 2545 4184 if you think this applies to you).

If you are a father or a birthing partner welcoming a new life into the world, you can be there during the mother's delivery but will have to leave as soon as post-natal treatment begins. You will only be allowed to visit for one hour a day after that.

From Saturday, all non-urgent surgeries and procedures will be postponed. 

Sports, out and about

As from today, you cannot play football, netball or other organised sports, no matter how old you are, but you can go for a walk, a jog or a run.

You will also not be able to go to the pool or the gym… but you can go to the beach as long as you hang out with a maximum of three other people.

Picnics and other outdoor activities have also been limited to groups of four people and make sure that you are sitting down before removing your mask to eat, drink or smoke. 

The 4 person rule applies to anyone in public places except for families who reside in the same household. 

Otherwise, those spotted with their masks down while walking will be handed a €100 fine.

You can be fined €100 if a police officer or other enforcement official catches you without a mask. Photo: Matthew MirabelliYou can be fined €100 if a police officer or other enforcement official catches you without a mask. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Travelling

You will only be able to travel to Gozo if you live there or own property on the island.

However, you can travel abroad as long as you follow COVID mitigation procedures and check the restrictions that apply to the place you will be travelling to.

If you arrive in from some countries, on the amber list, you will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test or be subjected to a swab. If you arrive from a country that isn't on the green or amber list, you'll have to quarantine for two weeks. 

Updated on March 16 after further answers were received by the ministry of health. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us