This is the 6th newsletter reporting on EU and Government of Malta measures in response to COVID-19.
1.European Union (Adoption of Temporary Framework)
The European Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework to enable Member States to use the full flexibility of the State aid rules to support the economy further to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Temporary Framework comprises 5 types of aid:
- Direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments of up to €800,000 for a company to address its urgent liquidity needs;
- State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks;
- Subsidized public loans to companies;
- Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy, with aid being considered as direct aid to the banks’ customers, and not to the banks themselves;
- Short-term export credit insurance to be provided by the State where needed.
2. Legal Notices
2.1 Legal Notice 91 of 2020 (Closure of Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Stations Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health ordered the closure of all vehicle roadworthiness testing stations in Malta and Gozo with effect from 20th March 2020.
2.2 Legal Notice 92 of 2020 (Travel Ban (Extension to all Countries) Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health extended the order of a travel ban on persons to Malta and from Malta to and from all countries subject to certain exceptions including; cargo flights, ferry flights, humanitarian flights, repatriation flights and cargo ships (including container ships and ro-ro vessels carrying goods and essential commodities and tankers loaded with essential fuels). Moreover, in case the travel of certain persons or goods is deemed essential further exceptions may be issued by a notice in the Government Gazette.
2.3 Legal Notice 95 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health ordered the closure of all shops, whether operating in shopping malls and/or elsewhere, whereby their principal business relates to selling of:
- handbags and leather goods
- costume jewellery and accessories
- non-prescription eye-wear
- beauty products
- soft furnishings
- souvenir shops
- discount stores
- luggage shops
- toy shops
- hobby shops
- furniture shops
- florists and vaping shops
However, delivery services of their products to the community is still permitted.
- nail artists
- nail technicians
The closure order was also extended to cover outlets providing non-essential services:
2.4 Legal Notice 96 of 2020 (Enforcement of the order relating to Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-Essential Services Regulations, 2020)
Legal Notice 96 of 2020 introduces a penalty of €3,000 for each and every breach to Legal Notice 95 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services) with effect from 23 March 2020.
2.5 Legal Notice 97 of 2020 (Closure of the Courts of Justice (Amendment) Order, 2020)
This Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 65 of 2020 (Closure of Courts and suspension of running of legal and judicial times) in such a way that the closure order applicable to:
- any tribunal established by law;
- any boards, commissions, committees or other entities
was restricted only to those operating from the building of the Courts of Justice. These include the:
- Industrial Tribunal;
- Employment Commission;
- Committee of Inquiry (Deprivation of Citizenship);
- Partition of Inheritances Tribunal; and
- Information and Data Protection Appeals Tribunal.
Moreover, a suspension of legal, judicial or administrative time-limits was ordered in such a way that any legal, judicial or administrative time-limit for the filing of any acts before the court following the conclusion of any proceedings before any tribunal, board, commission, committee or other entity which does not operate from the building of the Courts of Justice, shall be suspended for a period of twenty (20) days from the lifting of the repeal of this order by the Superintendent.
In addition, a transitory suspension provision was also introduced by means of which the time limits as in force prior to the coming into force of this Legal Notice 97 of 2020 (Closure of the Courts of Justice (Amendment) Order, 2020) concerning tribunals, boards, commissions, committees and other entities which are not operating in the building of the Courts of Justice shall remain in force for 5 days from the coming into force of this Legal Notice 97 of 2020.
2.6 Legal Notice 98 of 2020 (Enforcement of the order relating to self-isolation of diagnosed persons Regulations, 2020)
Legal Notice 98 of 2020 introduces a penalty of €10,000 for each and every breach to Legal Notice 99 of 2020 (Self-Isolation of Diagnosed Persons) with effect from 23 March 2020.
2.7 Legal Notice 99 of 2020 (Self-Isolation of Diagnosed Persons Order, 2020)
This Legal notice imposes the self-isolation obligation on any person who is diagnosed as suffering from COVID-19 infectious disease, immediately upon receiving an oral or written order, as the case may be, from the Superintendent of Public Health. Such an obligation will remain applicable until the Superintendent of Public Health revokes the oral or written order.
2.8 Legal Notice 100 of 2020 (Enforcement of the Order relating to Suspension of Organised Events Regulations, 2020)
Legal Notice 100 of 2020 introduces a penalty of €3,000 for each and every breach to Legal Notice 101 of 2020 (Suspension of Organised Events) with effect from 23 March 2020.
2.9 Legal Notice 101 of 2020 (Suspension of Organised Events Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health suspended all organised events, including all cultural, recreational, entertainment, sporting and religious events and exhibitions in public or private places and all events and exhibitions held inside places subject to the Closure of Places Open to the Public Order with effect from 23 March 2020.
3. Administrative Notices
3.1 MFSA: Extensions to regulatory reporting deadlines
The MFSA has issued a circular advising that it will be accepting a delay from the reporting deadline for some of the submissions / publications falling due by March or April 2020.
3.2 Malta Enterprise
Malta Enterprise have announced that applications for the €350 grant per employee on quarantine leave will be made available online as from 25th March. More details, including guidelines, are expected to be made available shortly.