COVID 19 – Malta – Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and the Suspension of Organised Events Order

Yesterday 22nd March
2020 the Government announced further measures aimed to reduce the spreading of
the Coronavirus (COVID -19) which was classified by the World Health
Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic.

These newly announced measures are
found in Legal Notice 95 of 2020 and Legal Notice 96 of 2020. The latter deals
with the Enforcement of the Order relating to Closure of Non-Essential Retail
Outlets whilst the former provides a detailed list of which business are
considered as Non-Essential Retail Outlets or Outlets Providing Non-Essential
Services.

Natalino Caruana De Brincat

Legal Notice 95 of 2020 the Closure
of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-Essential Services
Order
explains that the
Superintendent of Public Health orders the closure of all shops whereby their principal
business relates to selling of clothing, sportswear, jewellery, hand bags and leather goods, costume 
jewellery  and  accessories, 
footwear,  non-prescription  eye-wear, perfumeries, beauty products, haberdashery, soft furnishings, souvenir 
shops,  discount  stores, 
luggage  shops,  toy 
shops,  hobby shops, furniture shops, florists and vaping shops, whether
operating in shopping malls and/or elsewhere. The Order
imply to allow these shops/businesses to provide delivery services of their
products to the community.

Furthermore, the same Legal Notice, explains that such order for closure
shall extend to the following outlets providing non-essential services: hairdressers,
barbers, beauticians, spas, nail artists, nail technicians and tattooists. It is
important to point out that the order empowers the Superintendent of Public Health, by notice in the Gazette,  to amend such order of closure thus remove or
include other outlets.

Legal Notice 96 of 2020 the Enforcement
of the Order relating to Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets
Providing Non-Essential Services Regulations
focuses on the enforcement element
of the aforementioned Legal Notice. It amplifies that any person who fails to
abide by the provisions of the Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and
Outlets Providing  Non-Essential  Services 
Order,  2020
shall be guilty
of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty
of three thousand euro (€3, 000) for each and every occasion in which that
person breaches the such Order.  

Legal Notice 101 of 2020 entitled
the Suspension of Organised Events Order delves into explaining that by orders
of the Superintendent of  Public  Health 
all organised events, including all cultural, recreational, entertainment,
sporting and religious events and exhibitions in public or private places, are suspended.
Such suspension is applicable also to all events and exhibitions held inside
places subject to the Closure of Places Open to the Public Order. The latter order
was enacted with Legal Notice 100 of 2020 which deals with the Enforcement of
the Order relating to Suspension of Organised Events.

The Enforcement of the Order explains
once again that any person who fails to abide by the provisions of such Suspension
of Organised Events, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be
liable to the payment of a penalty of three thousand euro (€3,000) for each and
every occasion in which that person breaches the aforesaid Order.

Ian Spiteri Bailey

IMPORTANT NOTE – The above is a mere synopsis of
the latest Legal Notices and does not purport to give legal, financial or tax
advice, or any other advice of whatever nature. Hence it is always your
responsibility to seek legal advice before taking, or not taking, any action
.

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