[WATCH] Prime Minister unveils plan to lift COVID-19 measures • Staggered reopening for schools

Government announces plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions • Elective surgeries to restart from 12 April • Non-essential shops and services can open from 26 April  

Minister for Health Chris Fearne (left),Prime Minister Robert Abela (center) and
Minister for Health Chris Fearne (left),Prime Minister Robert Abela (center) and

Plan to lifting COVID-19 restrictions:

SCHOOLS: 12 April to 16 April

  • Monday: Childcare centres, kindergarten centres and primary schools will reopen physically
  • Wednesday: Middle schools (Form 1 and Form 2) to reopen physically
  • Friday: Secondary schools (Form 3 to Form 5) to reopen physically
  • All post-secondary schools to remain online


  • Elective surgeries to restart at hospitals
  • Elderly people home visits to restart


  • Non-essential shops to reopen with mitigation protocols
  • Non-essential services to restart with mitigation protocols


  • The limit of gatherings in public will increase to 4 people from 2
  • The limit of gatherings in households will increase to 4 households from 2



  • Date will be announced in due course depending on pandemic’s development

VOUCHERS: No date yet

  • Distribution of €100 vouchers to individuals above 16 years of age will start once bars and restaurants are open


  • Masses in churches will restart with mitigation protocols

Cautious reopening marks exit from COVID-19 restrictions

Government has opted for a cautious relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, starting with a staggered reopening of schools from next Monday.

Non-essential shops and services will have to wait until 26 April for them to reopen with mitigation protocols, while no date has yet been set for the reopening of bars and restaurants.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said in a press conference on Wednesday that the lifting of restrictions was based on scientific evidence and very cautious.

“During different stages of the pandemic we had to take different decisions according to the phase of the pandemic," Abela said, adding that the measures may be tightened depending on how the infection rate develops.

The Prime Minister said government will shortly announce its mass vaccination programme for the rest of the population.

“I understand that many would like the country to reopen as soon as possible but let's remain cautious,” Abela warned.

Health Minister Chris Fearne Fearne explained that the government’s top priority remains health.

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne

“Health was always our priority when introducing and easing measures, followed by education,” he said.

Fearne said that children cannot miss out on schools for another year. He said that 18,200 persons working in the education setting have received at least their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The reopening for tourism from 1 June will depend on whether Malta can control its infection numbers, he added.

“Tourism is important for economic recovery and by keeping our numbers low we will be able to be on the UK’s green light for travellers to come here,” Fearne said.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said decisions on relaxing measures will depend on the positivity rate, the seven-day moving average of new infections, and hospitalisations. She did not give numbers for these parameters that would trigger the particular responses.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Fearne said that a drop in intensive care cases in hospitals will allow staff to be redeployed and elective surgeries will restart as from Monday.

The Health Minister warned that restrictive measures must be adhered to. He said the situation also depended on the development of virus variants.

At least 76% of new coronavirus cases are linked to the UK variant.

Vaccination figures

  • 95% of the population aged 80 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 
  • 86% of the 70s and over cohort have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 
  • 76% of the 60s and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 
  • 86% of the vulnerable cohort have received at least one dose of the vaccine.