COVID-19: Children no longer required to take PCR tests; no clusters in schools

Health Minister Chris Fearne announces less restrictive measures as from next Monday

Health Minister Chris Fearne (Photo:DOI)
Health Minister Chris Fearne (Photo:DOI)

Children under 12 will not be required to take a PCR test before attending large events, Chris Fearne said as he announced the lifting of more restrictions.

As from next Monday, children under the age of 12 attending large events for vaccinated people, will not be required to present a negative PCR test, which makes it easier for them to attend cultural events.

The Health Minister said that for large events, including weddings, up to eight people can occupy one table and tables could be spaced at a one-metre distance from each other.

Fearne said results from a special mass event used as a pilot project to test the waters will be out by the end of the week. "We could then take decisions for Christmas based on these results," Fearne said.

"The mu variant is not a variant of concern," he added, and as a result, a number of South American countries will have their designation changed from dark red to red. He also said that due to a spike in cases in Eastern Europe, some countries might be listed on the dark red list. Malta will also start recognising the vaccine certificate from Armenia, Moldova, Iraq and South Korea.

Public transport capacity will go up to 80% from next Monday.

The Health Minister said that there are currently 11 COVID-19 patients in Mater Dei Hospital and one in the ITU. He also said that as yet there have been no COVID-19 clusters in schools. 25 new cases and 24 new recoveries were announced, brinding the active cases up to 290.

Fearne said that until now 30,000 booster doses and 850,000 vaccinations were administered and from next November, booster doses will be offered to healthcare workers, carers in nursing homes and teachers.

Influenza season

Fearne said the seasonal influenza shot will be distributed as from 25 October but no invites will be sent, so people could walk in and get the shot.

For the first three weeks, the shots will be administered only to those aged 55 and over, the vulnerable and children under 12 years of age. Weekends will be reserved solely for children, who will be administered a nasal spray vaccine.