Coronavirus lockdown for elderly impacts President, two ministers and four MPs

Malta has adopted a lockdown for people aged 65 as it tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a measure that will see six legislators and the President confined to their house unless they are issued a special dispensation

President George Vella is 77 and falls under the lockdown restrictions unless given a special dispensation from the health authorities
President George Vella is 77 and falls under the lockdown restrictions unless given a special dispensation from the health authorities

The new lockdown measure for people aged 65 and over will force President George Vella, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo to stay at home.

Vella is 77, while Bartolo and Scicluna are 67 and 73, respectively.

But the new measure that will come into force on Saturday morning will also impact four MPs.

Labour backbencher Joe Mizzi (68), and PN MPs Robert Arrigo (65), Frederick Azzopardi (70) and Maria Deguara (71), will also have to remain housebound.

It is unclear whether these legislators will be given a special dispensation by the government’s chief medical officer to continue with their functions.

Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia and Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo just escaped the lockdown – they are both 64, with Refalo turning 65 in July and Farrugia in December.

Health Minister Chris Fearne announced the new restriction on Thursday in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 ahead of an expected surge in cases.

All people above 65 and those suffering from chronic conditions will be asked to stay at home, including anybody who lives with them. The measure will impact some 118,000 people and possibly more.

These people are not to leave their home unless to attend for medical appointments or if granted permission by the health authorities.

Fearne said special dispensations may be issued for categories of people such as farmers, who are mainly elderly people, and doctors over 65.

The list of legislators who may be impacted by the coronavirus lockdown however may not be exhaustive because there may be others, who fall under one or more of the chronic conditions and who will have to remain housebound.

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