COVID-19: Bars, restaurants that only allow entry to fully vaccinated will benefit from less restrictions

From 9 October bars and restaurants can choose to restrict entrance to those with a COVID-19 vaccine certificate with the benefit of further relaxation of measures 

Restaurants with a vaccinated-only policy for clients will benefit from fewer restrictions
Restaurants with a vaccinated-only policy for clients will benefit from fewer restrictions

Bars and restaurants can choose to restrict entrance to those with a COVID-19 vaccine certificate from October 9, Health Minister Chris Fearne said today. 

Fearne was speaking during the inauguration of a healthcare centre in Valletta. The Health Minister also said that due to the successful vaccination programme in the country, more measures could be relaxed in the entertainment sector, specifically bars and restaurants.

The benefits are as follows:

  • The distance between tables can reduce to 1.5m
  • Maximum of eight people at a table
  • Bars and restaurants will be able to close at 3am (if applicable)
  • Those that play music can raise the sound limit to 80 decibels
  • Limited bar service can resume for establishments, as long as perspex is installed between the bar tender and the public

Children under the age of 12, who are not vaccinated since the use of the COVID vaccine has not been authorised, are exempted from having to show a vaccine certificate.

Fearne said that those who do not want to limit to only vaccinated clientele must continue to open in line with existing health protocols. 

He said random inspections will be carried out to ensure that only certified customers are allowed into restricted establishments.

Fearne also announced that from 1 October, the health authorities will be accepting the vaccine certificate from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and had received one dose. This had been an issue for some people from countries like Italy where people who contracted COVID were only administered one vaccine dose.

He also announced that the health authorities are now accepting the vaccine certificate from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Rwanda.

Turning to schools, Fearne said that science has shown that wearing masks keeps COVID-19 down.

However, he said the health authorities were monitoring the situation and that they did expect a slight rise in cases due to schools reopening.

Fearne also said Malta had not registered any cases of the MU variant and that cases in the hospital were stable and slowly going down. 

The Health Minister also said that people over 70 started receiving the vaccine booster as of yesterday. He urged people to be patient and if they had not received their invitation yet, they would in the coming days.