[WATCH] Health authorities in three-week assessment of decision to lift COVID-19 restrictions

Malta’s COVID-19 transmission rate, known as the RT factor, currently stands at around 1.3 after dropping below one two weeks ago

Health authorities will be assessing Malta’s COVID-19 situation over the span of three weeks in order to evaluate the impact of a decision to ease restrictions.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said that the rate of transmission is assessed over a period due to the fluctuating numbers small countries like Malta experience.

Gauci confirmed on Friday that Malta’s RT factor (rate of transmission) currently stands at around 1.3.

On Friday, Malta registered double digits in new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row.

“The rate of transmission factor does not look at a single day’s case, which is why easing restrictions is not conditioned by one day’s figures,” she said.

Gauci once again said that the lower the RT factor, the better this is for the community.

“We will continue to assess how the situation unfolds later this week and the next, and then we can decide,” she said.

At the beginning of last week, government started easing restrictions by allowing non-essential shops to re-open. The transmission rate at the time had dropped to below 1 for two weeks.

Retail outlets re-opened but have to abide by mandatory social distancing rules and safety regulations.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said on Friday that government will be announcing the lifting of more restrictions within the next 72 hours.

The measures will be aimed at encouraging the start of internal tourism.

She boldly told operators that “there will be a summer”.

The minister also told operators that the government is currently in bilateral talks with nine other countries for the re-opening of air travel.

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