COVID self-testing to be allowed from this week, masks to be removed in schools from 13 April

Health Minister Chris Fearne announces self-testing for COVID-19 to be allowed from this week • Travellers from red list countries can now present a negative PCR test or recovery certificate

Updated at 11:40am with PN statement

Self-testing for COVID-19 will become legal in Malta from this week, Health Minister Chris Fearne said during a phone interview with TVAM.

The health minister, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, also announced that those travelling to Malta from a county on the red list will now be allowed into the country with a negative PCR test or recovery certificate.

Fearne also said that from 13 April, children will no longer need to wear a mask in school and that a second booster will be offered to the vulnerable.

Disusing his own symptoms, Fearne said they were only cold-like because he had taken the booster vaccine.  

The health minister said that cases in the community had increased in recent days, with the seven-day moving average now at 640 new cases per day.

However, Fearne said the cases in the ITU remained low; and that five people were currently receiving treatment in the ITU.

He said that Malta continued to have the lowest ITU rate in Europe because immunity was high within the community.

The health minister also confirmed that from 10 April, standing events outdoors will not require a vaccine certificate and that there will be no cap on the number of people who can stay in the same crowd.

Indoor standing events will still require a certificate. Fearne urged people to remain responsible.

Introduction of self-testing

Fearne said that from this week, self-testing would be allowed; this he said reflected the government’s attitude toward encouraging a self-regulation approach rather than stricter measures.  

If the result is positive, the person will need to go into quarantine and speak to their doctor.

Self-testing is commonly used across the EU; however, it has been banned in Malta up until now.  

Second booster dose

The government will also be offering a second COVID-19 booster to those who are immuno-compromised as well as people in elderly homes.

This will be on a voluntary basis and have no impact on the vaccination certificate. 

PN welcomes relax of further restrictions

The Nationalist Party welcomed the news that more COVID-19 measures were being relaxed in a statement on Monday. 

“The Nationalist Party has long stressed that there should be more trust in the people. Therefore, the introduction of self-testing kits will continue to help the virus be better controlled while not restricting freedoms of the individual,” the party said.

However, the party stressed that while restrictions continue to be relaxed, the public should be responsible and respect one another.

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