On 23rd March, Legal Notice 95 governing the indefinite closure of non-essential retail outlets and outlets providing non-essential services has been published with effect from the same day. The closure has been announced on Sunday 22nd by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Chris Fearne. The order covers shops whereby their principal business relates to selling of clothing, sportswear, jewellery, hand bags and leather goods, costume jewellery and accessories, footwear, non-prescription eyewear, perfumeries, beauty products, haberdasheries, 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. Such establishments may still however provide delivery services of their products to the community. The non-essential services covered by the order are hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, spas, nail artists, nail technicians and tattooists.

Legal Notice 96 prescribes a penalty of €3,000 for every breach of the order.

The order is another measure aimed at 'social distancing' people in the community, particularly in bric-and-mortar outlets. The order does not affect other places of work, including offices, factories and construction sites, albeit in such places enhanced social distancing and hygiene practices are encouraged including teleworking.

Should you have any queries or wish to discuss further, please send an email to covid@kpmg.com.mt.

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