All bars in Malta will shut until December 1, authorities said on Monday as they introduced new restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The public health rules, which also limit the number of people allowed to gather socially to a maximum of six, come into effect as of Thursday.
Snack bars and kiosks will be allowed to remain open provided they do not sell alcohol and close between 11 pm and 5 am. Restaurants can continue to operate provided no more than 10 patrons are seated at each table.
Anyone caught breaking the rules will be fined 200 euros (236 dollars), although the fine will be reduced to 100 euros for anyone who chooses to pay on the spot.
The new restrictions come one day after doctors in Malta warned that the country’s health care system risked collapse unless coronavirus case numbers were brought under control.
Malta, the European Union’s smallest country with a population of 500,000, has reported 5,578 Covid-19 cases and 53 deaths so far. The majority of those infections were reported in the past two months.