Speculation on when the ongoing flight ban could be lifted is still off-limits for Health Minister Chris Fearne, who on Tuesday insisted it was still too early to discuss the issue. 

Fearne said that local authorities are still evaluating which COVID-19 containment measures to lift next. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Times of Malta revealed that Air Malta would no longer be cancelling its flights in batches but would be evaluating the situation on a day-by-day basis. Budget airline Ryanair has also announced that it would resume 40 per cent flights from July. 

Fearne made no further comment on Ryanair's announcement, though he did state that “the airport is not closed”. 

While this is technically correct, since cargo and repatriation flights are still making their way through Malta’s airport, all other flights have been banned. 

The flight ban introduced on March 21 has been extended to May 31

On May 1, Fearne had announced the easing of some restrictions, including a decision to reopen non-essential shops. He had said at the time that the authorities would be monitoring the situation closely throughout the following three weeks in order to establish whether it was time to lift additional measures. 

Since then, the health authorities have refused to say which of the restrictions would be lifted next. 

The virus’s incubation period, Fearne said, was two weeks and so the authorities could not decide which measures to lift based on a single day but needed to look at the situation over a number of weeks. 

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