This is the 10th update on COVID-19 related measures.
1. International News
1.1 Statement by the FATF President
On 1st April 2020, the FATF has issued a statement:
- encouraging governments to work with financial institutions and other businesses to use the flexibility built into the FATF’s risk-based approach to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 whilst remaining alert to new and emerging illicit finance risks; and
- encouraging the fullest use of responsible digital customer onboarding and delivery of digital financial services in light of social distancing measures.
1.2 Statement by the European Commission on emergency measures in Member States
On 31st March 2020, EC President von der Leyen issued a statement emphasizing the importance of Member States upholding the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights during these times. The statement provides that emergency measures applied by Member States must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate, must not last indefinitely and must be subject to regular scrutiny.
1.3 European Banking Authority provides additional clarity on measures to mitigate COVID-19 impact on the EU banking sector
On 31st March 2020, the EBA issued a number of statements with a view to clarify its expectations in relation to banks’ dividend and remuneration policies, to provide additional guidance on how to use flexibility in supervisory reporting and also on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These statements may be accessed on: https://eba.europa.eu/eba-provides-additional-clarity-on-measures-mitigate-impact-covid-19-eu-banking-sector
2. Legal Notices
2.1 Legal Notice 112 of 2020 (Number of Persons in Public Spaces Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health has prohibited groups of more than 3 persons in public spaces, that is, in any open outdoor space accessible to members of the general public. That being said:
- the prohibition does not apply to groups of persons living in the same residence; and
- persons waiting in queues or on bus stops who keep a distance of 2 metres between them.
2.2 Legal Notice 113 of 2020 (Enforcement of the Order relating to the Number of Persons in Public Spaces Regulations, 2020)
This Legal Notice provides that any person who fails to abide by the provisions of Legal Notice 112 of 2020 shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty of €100 for each and every breach.
2.3 Legal Notice 114 of 2020 (Closure of Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Stations (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
This Legal Notice amends Legal Notices 91 and 102 of 2020, to the effect that VRT stations may remain open solely to carry out vehicle roadworthiness tests on the following:
- used motor vehicles imported into Malta prior to their first registration with the Authority for Transport in Malta
- motor vehicles which had been garaged in accordance with the provisions of the Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles Regulations prior to the 20th March, 2020 and whose owners require the issuance of new registration plates and the renewals of their vehicles’ licenses for the said vehicles to be able to be used once again on the road;
- motor vehicles whose annual circulation licence expire prior to the 20th March 2020 and their licences had not been renewed, and which require a vehicle roadworthiness certificate in order to have their annual circulation licenses renewed; and
- motor vehicles which require a vehicle roadworthiness certificate in order to be transferred to a third party.
2.4 Legal Notice 115 of 2020 (Declaration of a Public Health Emergency Order, 2020)
Through this Legal Notice, the Superintendent of Public Health declared that, with effect from the 7th March 2020, a public health emergency exists.
2.5 Legal Notice 116 of 2020 (Commissioners for Justice Act (Schedule) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 2020)
Legal Notice 116 of 2020 provides that any breach to Legal Notice 113 of 2020, as amended, shall be regarded as a scheduled offence for the purposes of the Commissioners of Justice Act.
2.6 Legal Notice 117 of 2020 (Temporary Street Hawker Licences and Street Hawking Distance Regulations, 2020)
In terms of this Legal Notice, a person in possession of a valid permit to operate a stall within a Farmers’ Market shall automatically be deemed to be in possession of a temporary license as a street hawker to sell local agricultural produce. This temporary license is subject to a number of conditions and will remain valid until such time that the Superintendent of Public Health determines:
(a) that markets or farmers markets shall not remain closed; or
(b) that street hawking activity including street hawking for the selling of vegetables shall cease; or
(c) that the person holding the license himself falls within a category of persons who are not permitted to be outdoors.
2.7 Legal Notice 118 of 2020 (Mandatory Non-essential Travel between Malta and Gozo Order, 2020)
The Superintendent of Public Health has ordered that travel between Malta and Gozo shall be limited only to the following:
(a) persons who need to travel between Malta and Gozo for work;
(b) persons who need to travel to visit members of the family; and
(c) persons who need to travel between Malta and Gozo for medical reasons or to visit a member of the family who is hospitalized.
Commercial vehicles and merchandise shall be allowed to travel between Malta and Gozo without any restrictions, and a person may travel between Malta and Gozo to return to his ordinary residence.
2.8 Legal Notice 119 of 2020 (Closure of the Local Tribunals Order, 2020)
The Superintendent of Public Health has ordered the closure of the tribunals established by means of the Local Tribunals (Establishment of Tribunals and Designation of Registry, Registrar and Other Officers) Regulations with effect from the 30th March 2020. This order shall remain in force until it is revoked by the Superintendent.
Any legal, judicial or administrative time-limit for the filing of any acts before the local tribunals shall be suspended for a period of 20 days from the lifting of the repeal of this order by the Superintendent, whilst any service of summons shall be suspended until a period of 10 days from the lifting of the repeal of this order by the Superintendent.
3. Administrative Notices
3.1 Malta Business Registry
MBR have published an update stating that MBR will start processing paper format on the first working day after 72 hours from receipt of such document and on-site inspections will be held through digital means.