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Ask Charmaine: Are organised dinner celebrations allowed?
Malta’s Superintendent for Public Health takes questions from readers
June 15, 2021|Charmaine Gauci|19
4 min read
Mask wearing in private cars was never obligatory, although recommended when members of different households are in the same car. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Next week, we are invited for dinner at a venue to celebrate the First Holy Communion of a relative. The invitations are extended to several relatives of the child. The host assured us that we shall be seated at tables according to protocol. Is this allowed? – Lorraine Micallef
In accordance with LN224 of 2021, organised mass events (amendment No. 3) regulations, 2021, all organised events shall be prohibited except for religious events and weddings and the latter may only be held in strict adherence with the standards published by the Superintendent of Public Health.  Catering establishments, including restaurants, need to adhere with the restaurant’s standards available here.
Are there legal requirements to have a negative PCR test for outbound flights from Malta, especially if the other country does not require such tests? –  Yevgen Blyznyuk
Testing for persons travelling on outbound flights depends on the requirements of the destination of the flight. It is highly recommended that, before making any travel arrangements, one should check the conditions for the respective country on the EU
ReOpen (http://reopen.europa.eu) website, which provides information on the various measures in place, including on quarantine and testing requirements for travellers and the EU Digital COVID certificate. The respective government websites also provide information on what is required for travel.
If two persons from different households are in a car are they obliged to wear the masks, even it both of them have taken the two vaccines? – Charles Caruana
Mask wearing in private cars was never obligatory. However, it was recommended when members of different households are travelling in a car. In accordance with ECDC advice, when fully-vaccinated individuals meet other fully-vaccinated individuals, the wearing of face masks can be relaxed.
In line with this, as from July 1, a fully-vaccinated person (with a full course of vaccine and once 14 days have elapsed from the last dose and is in possession of the vaccine certificate) can opt not to wear a mask when in public spaces if alone or in contact with another fully-vaccinated person. If in groups of more than two, mask wearing remains obligatory for the time being.
Will Maltese travellers arriving in Malta still have to pay for the PCR test if done upon arrival? Why is this if the test has always been free here? – Rosemarie Fava
Any traveller arriving in Malta from any of the amber countries as listed in the travel ban (Extension to all Countries) Order (S.L. 465.26) as allowed for travel, is required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test performed no longer than 72 hours before arrival in Malta.
Travellers arriving in Malta from any of the said countries who, for some reason, fail to produce a negative PCR COVID-19 test will be subject to mandatory testing in Malta or mandatory quarantine. This is subject to fees in accordance with fee scheduled as per legal notice LN229 of 2021, which came into effect on June 1 and is applicable to any nationality, including Maltese citizens.
I had tested positive in March this year and have now recovered. Can I get infected again? – Mary Mizzi
There is still insufficient evidence about whether people who have recovered from infection with COVID-19 develop long-lasting immunity or not. It is,  therefore, advisable that even though you have recovered from the coronavirus infection you should still observe all recommendations about hand hygiene and social distancing. You should also contact a doctor (by phone) or 111 should you once again develop symptoms of this virus as you may need to have the swab test done again.
Do you have any tips to maintain a healthy diet? –Kelly Camilleri
Try to eat at regular times and opt for nutritious foods whenever possible. Some people may crave junk food or sugary snacks and be tempted to snack mindlessly when stressed or bored and others may skip meals altogether.
Experiment with new recipes and surprise yourself and/or your family. Take up and maintain an exercise routine. Use exercise equipment that you may have at home if you cannot find time to exercise outdoors and/or are still cautious to return to the gym. Find time to take a brisk walk outside once or twice a week.
Have any questions to ask the superintendent? To submit your questions for consideration, e-mail askcharmaine@timesofmalta.com
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