Authorities in Malta have ordered the closure of all nightclubs and bars in an attempt to stem a new coronavirus outbreak on the island.
The measure will come into force on Wednesday, Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne announced on Monday.
Discos, night bars, concert halls and also sports clubs will have to close their doors until further notice, but restaurants and shops remain open, while public gatherings remain limited to 15 people.
“All these measures are based on the principle of social distancing. We felt that they had to be strengthened in several areas”, explained the Director of Health, Charmaine Gauci.
The number of COVID-19 cases has constantly increased during the last month.
There are current 607 active cases in Malta, almost half of the total number of infections recorded since the epidemic broke out on the island on March 7.
Nine people have died and two are currently hospitalised in intensive care.
A hotel party and a traditional village meal were identified as possible sources of the new outbreak.