[WATCH] Restaurants and hairdressers to open by end of next week – PM

Prime Minister Robert Abela says establishments will reopen under new regulation

Posted by Partit Laburista on Sunday, 17 May 2020

Restaurants and hairdressers will be reopening by the end of next week, Prime Minister Robert Abela has confirmed.

The PM hinted that the further relaxation of measures will be announced in the coming days.

Speaking on party radio station ‘ONE Radio’, Abela said that new regulation will be put in place to ensure that health standards remain in place.

He also warned that establishments will be reopening under a new normal, which is still far off from how the situation was in February before the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that due to the new reality which will be faced by business owners, certain regulation such as the allowance of tables and chairs on pavements will be temporarily allowed.

The Labour leader also said that people will be encouraged to make use of the establishments, insisting government must not send mixed signals in opening businesses while telling people to stay at home.

Abela also insisted that education partnered with social distancing regulation will remain key to keeping the situation under control.

“We can’t keep everyone locked up in their homes, when the science suggests otherwise,” he said.

The PM also rubbished claims over the country experiencing a second wave.

“The only waves we have are in the sea,” he said, pointing out the increased number of testing being carried out by health authorities.

“We have increased the number of tests three-fold, and we have always and will continue to err on the side of caution,” he said.

He also said that government must make the most out of the success the country has achieved, calling Malta a ‘COVID-19 safe country’.

The PM has also said that a prefabricated hospital which was planned to be built in the vicinity of Mater Dei Hospital, will not be bought after being advised by health authorities.

Looking ahead, Abela said that future decisions will all be taken with three principles in mind: social distancing, safety of the elderly and safety of the vulnerable people in society.

“We can’t afford to take the wrong decisions, as it will be detrimental for the country and its economy,” he said.

Judiciary Appointment Reform

Speaking on the judiciary reforms enacted by government, Abela said that since his leadership campaign he had always insisted on carrying out the change.

“The Venice commission was presented a package, they forwarded their amendments and we worked together for a historical step towards improving our democracy,” he said.

He spoke about a historical government decision in giving up its hold over the country’s judiciary appointments.

“I believe in the rule of law, and these are the changes which need to be translated into improving the reputation of our country,” he said.

On the appointment of a police commissioner, Abela said he was “positively surprised” at the number of applicants for the job.

Abela promised that government would not be interfering in the decision-making process of the police, also stating that the new commissioner will be given all the required resources.

He also insisted that the new police head will be tasked with carrying out a much-needed reform within the corps.

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