This page is based on the information by the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate.
Mandatory conditions for mitigation measures for the COVID-19 Transition phase issued under the Public Health Act chapter 465
Conditions of Quarantine
If you wish to contact the public health authorities on issues regarding quarantine, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons entering Malta from any country must spend 14 days in mandatory quarantine, which 14 days start immediately on their arrival and end on the consecutive day following the 14 days. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €3,000.
If you develop any symptoms of COVID19 during the 14 days since arrival in Malta from any country:
- Remain in your place of quarantine
- Phone the national COVID-19 Helpline on 111 (or +35621324086) from an overseas number for advice.
- Do not go to private clinics, emergency department, health centres or other healthcare facilities.
Coronaviruses are viruses which cause respiratory symptoms ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). They are a family of viruses which are present both in humans and in animals. They are spread from one person to another through:
- Coughing and sneezing (via droplets)
- Hands which have become contaminated with the virus after touching contaminated surfaces or
- Through direct contact with a person infected with the coronavirus (such as caring for a sick person)
From the information known to date, the common symptoms are one or more of the below:
- Shortness of breath.
2. Sore throat
3. Runny / blocked nose
5. Muscle pain
6. Loss of smell
7. Loss of taste
8. Diarrhoea or vomiting
If you have any of the above symptoms call the PublicHealth helpline on 111. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness like cough, contact your GP or Health Centre.
If you have severe symptoms such as severe shortness of breath, call 112 immediately.
It is generally mild, especially for children and young people, but may also result in requirement of medical care and hospitalisation. In some cases the infection can cause severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome that can lead to death.
The incubation period, time between contamination and the appearance of the first symptoms can take between 2 to 14 days.
The COVID-19 infection is transmitted by people carrying the virus. The disease can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can persist for a few hours on objects or surfaces around the person in question. An infection with COVID-19 can occur if you touch these objects or surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. COVID-19 can also be contracted by inhaling droplets from a sick person who has just coughed or sneezed. This is why it is important to keep a distance of more than two meters from a sick person and to respect basic hygiene measures.
No specific treatment exists. Treatment given by a medical doctor is to control the symptoms.
There are currently no vaccines against coronaviruses, including 2019-nCoV. Therefore, it is very important to prevent infection or contain further spread of an infection.
Though no one is immune , older adults are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID 19. In addition, anyone with an underlying medical condition, regardless of their age, faces increased risk of serious illness.
- Vulnerable groups must stay at home & cannot go to work. These include:
- Elderly over 65 years
- Insulin dependent diabetics
- Those Taking Biologicals (medicines for long-term medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis,
- Crohn’s disease, Psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis)
- Patients with cancer and who have undergone chemotherapy in the last 6 months
- Patients who are immunosuppressed including those who had a transplant and those with HIV
- Patients undergoing dialysis
- Pregnant women
- Patients with Respiratory problems (have been hospitalized in the last 1 year)
- Patients with Cardiac problems and had interventions in the last 6 months
- Patients who attend the Heart failure clinic
- Patients on Oral steroids
These persons are allowed to go out ONLY for essential things like to get groceries and medicine. Outings and contact with others should be limited as much as possible.Persons who fall within the above categories and who have not received a letter notifying that they should stay in or think the suffer from a medical condition which merits being considered as vulnerable, should send an email to email@example.com with their Name, ID, Condition, Medication and scanned copy of their Schedule V card (yellow card).
Evidence is showing that some individuals and groups of people may be at an increased risk of developing serious complications if infected by the COVID-19 virus.
The Legal Notice 111/2020 (Protection of Vulnerable People) aims at protecting identified high-risk group categories to reduce their risk of infection.
However, it is possible that individuals who fall within the above-mentioned categories may wish to formally apply to be exempted from the obligation of mandatory quarantine as stipulated by LN 111/2020. Applications for this exemption can be submitted on the Exemption Request Form provided.
Any person who has any of the above-listed symptoms would need to undergo a swab test.
Public health authorities follow contact tracing procedures to identify and contact all possible close contacts. A risk assessment is done for each contact according to type and duration of contact; each case is different.
Swab tests are done at the testing centres ONLY by appointment.
To book your swab test call the Public Health Helpline on 111 or +356 21324086 if you have a foreign number. The operators will take note of your personal details and you will be given an appointment to undergo this test closest to your place of residence.
There are 4 testing centres, one at Pembroke, one at Luqa, one at Mater Dei Hospital (for health care professionals) and one in Xewkija, Gozo.
You will receive an email confirming your appointment date, time and location.
When attending for your swab test, it is important that you use your own private car of motorcycle.
If you are being driven, you should sit on the posterior passenger side, using a face mask if you have one, with the windows open. If you are unable to attend using your own transport, other arrangements will be made. Please point this out whilst calling the helpline.
Please note that you CANNOT attend for the swab test using a taxi, bus or any car-sharing option. Take a clean tissue and your ID card as proof of identification
The test involves inserting a nasal swab (a long cotton bud) in through your nasal opening and obtaining a sample of the nasopharyngeal secretions from the back of your nose and throat.
This tests lasts a few seconds and may be uncomfortable however the discomfort is over within a short time.
You can drive home right after the test is taken. It is important that you drive immediately home and do not stop to run any errands on the way.
You are to remain strictly at home until the swab result is out. You are to remain home until 24 hours after your symptoms subside. If you have been informed that you are in mandatory quarantine, you are to remain indoors as instructed by the Public Health Authorities.
Public Health provides results by email, SMS or a landline phone call within 72 hours, when accurate contact data is provided. If any of the data provided to Public Health is inaccurate, the result may not arrive. If 72 hours elapse and you have not received the result, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you don’t have an email address, call 111.
The results are also being released to patients through the myHealth portal. All Maltese citizens and residents aged 14+ can access myHealth by going to www.myhealth.gov.mt and logging in using their ID card number (or residence permit number) and their e-ID password. Persons who had an e-ID password but need a new one, and persons who have never had an e-ID password will find helpful links after clicking on ‘Log in with your e-ID’. Access to records of children aged below 14 is only possible for doctors linked to the children through myHealth. Queries related to myHealth may be sent to email@example.com.
If your symptoms get worse please call your family doctor or Primary Care on 21222444
In the event of a positive swab result, where the virus responsible for COVID-19 is detected, the person will be contacted and instructed by Public Health accordingly.
How do I protect myself and others from coronavirus ?
1. STAY AT HOME, avoid going out unnecessarily, avoid all kinds of social gatherings, maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.
2. CLEAN: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if not available, use alcohol- based hand disinfectant.
3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or inner side of flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
4. DO NOT sneeze or cough into your hands as you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
5. Dispose of used tissues immediately in lined and closed bins; DO NOT leave tissues running around.
6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth before washing your hands.
7. Keep a minimum of two metre distance when talking to someone who is sick.
8. Avoid all handshakes
9. If you are sick (with any illness) STAY AT HOME, even if your symptoms are mild.
10. If you are in quarantine, respect the quarantine order and the advice of Public Health Authorities.
11. If you are elderly or vulnerable, stay at home. If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, don’t visit them. Instead offer them support by taking groceries to them or other necessities or helping them to organise deliveries.
12. Follow guidance from health authorities. Keep up to date and refer to reliable sources of information. Avoid spreading misinformation and ‘fake news’ which only serves to cause panic and create further challenges for healthcare services.
With the lifting of certain restrictive public health measures instituted as part of the COVID19 Public Health Response, the Public Health Authorities are advising on the benefits of wearing a face mask or visor by individuals who are not ill, when entering closed spaces. Customers and staff in retail outlets and on public transport are required to wear a mask or a visor. Visors can be worn alone or together with a mask. Persons visiting banks are advised to wear a visor, since masks are not be permitted for security reasons. It is the responsibility of employers to provide appropriate masks or visors for their workers. The use of face masks helps reduce the spread of infection in the community by limiting the spread of infection from infected individuals who may not know they are infected, who have not yet developed symptoms or who remain asymptomatic. The wearing of masks will therefore enhance the effects of physical distancing. It is important to note that face covers are not meant to be a replacement for physical distancing; observing cough and sneeze etiquette; maintaining meticulous hand hygiene and avoiding touching one’s face.
People receiving packages from affected areas are not at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.
Can the illness be spread through coins and banknotes?
No studies confirm or disprove the possibility of the virus being transmitted though handling coins and banknotes. It is vital to wash your hands regularly and properly after handling any frequently-touched surface or object, such as coins or banknotes.
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?Evidence suggests that the virus may last on surfaces from a few hours to a few days, depending on different conditions. If you think a surface might be contaminated, clean it with simple disinfectant.
Am I protected from Coronavirus if I had the influenza vaccine this year?
No, COVID-19 and Influenza are two different viruses, and thus the influenza vaccine would not protect you from the coronavirus.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing, also called physical distancing, refers to actions taken to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. For an individual, it refers to maintaining enough physical distance (a minimum of two metres) between yourself and another person to reduce the risk of breathing in droplets that are produced when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. It is possible to safely maintain social connections while social distancing, through phone calls, video chats and social media platforms
Those found to be in a group of more than four (until 21-May-2020) or more than six (from 22-May-2020) and are not members of the same household shall be liable to a €100 fine.
Taking care of your mental health
Take care of your mental health as the current situation can provoke anxiety or distress. Help is available 24/7. Call 1770 helpline for support of emotional and mental wellbeing.
- Follow regular schedules for waking up, dressing, eating, exercising, working, entertainment and going to sleep
- Establish objectives for each day as well for the whole week
- Limit caffeine intake
- Keep your mind active; reading, writing, playing an instrument and playing board games
- Sit outside in your balcony, yard, roof, garden or near a window to enjoy daylight and sunshine
- Keep your self-informed but limit the time spent focussing on covid19 related information
- Stay in contact with family, friends and colleagues
For further information please refer to the mental well being guidance.
Guidance on Workplaces
Guidance for Workplaces during the Covid-19 Pandemic (29 April 2020)
Guidance on Site Home visits during covid-19 (19 April 2020)
Guidance for Supermarkets, Food Businesses (3 April 2020)
Guidance for Dental Practices in Malta (18 March 2020)
Guidance for Carers in Homes for the Elderly (6 May 2020)
Guidance for Taxi and Cab owners and drivers (8 May 2020)
Guidance on how to protect yourself and others
Ten Tips to Protect you and your family from contracting Covid-19 (13th April 2020)
How to make your own facemask (3 May 2020)
Guidance on Hand washing and use of gloves (17 April 2020)
Guidance on Hand Sanitisers (from MCCAA) (18 March 2020)
Guidelines on Healthy Eating during quarantine (17 April 2020)
Guidance to stay Physically Active (15 April 2020)
Taking care of your Mental Health (13 April 2020)
Guidance for pregnant mothers (21 March 2020)
Covid-19 and Breastfeeding (21 April 2020)
Guidance for people living with diabetes (20th April 2020)
Guidance for Domestic waste during Covid-19 (13 April 2020)
Information about Covid-19
For details on the worldwide situation, please visit the website of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
How to Quarantine – Poster (Somali)
How to Quarantine – Poster (Tigrinya)
Know the Symtoms of Covid-19 – Poster
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Reduce your risk of Covid-19 infection – Poster
Bus shelter Advert – Poster
Helplines and Useful Contacts – Poster
How to keep safe from Covid-19 – Poster
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Mitigation Conditions for Patrons dining at Restaurants – Poster
Mitigation Conditions for Hairdressers, Barbers, Nail Technicians, Beauticians – Poster
How do I ensure water systems are safe against Legionella – Poster
Covid-19 Testing centre – Poster & Social media frame