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Quarantine

Who needs to undergo mandatory quarantine?
Mandatory quarantine is only issued by public health authorities and is only valid if a notice of mandatory quarantine is issued by public health, or upon demonstration of a valid boarding pass in the case of a person arriving in malta from abroad.

Private companies, employers, testing centres or helpline agents do not have the authority to place somebody in mandatory quarantine. They can only recommend that a person ‘self-isolates’ for a period, however such periods of ‘self isolation’ need to be deducted from sick leave or vacation leave.

Until 30th June persons entering Malta after having travelled in any country must go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days immediately on arrival. They can resume their activities on the day following the 14 days period of quarantine. The 14 day period starts from the day after departure from any country to Malta, and ends at midnight on the 14th day. E.g. quarantine starting on 7th April ends at midnight on 21st April. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €3,000 each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine. From the 1st July 2020, mandatory quarantine does not apply to people arriving from safe corridor countries, provided these people have resided in these safe corridor countries for 14 days prior to departure.

Persons living in the same household as any of the above persons must also spend 14 days in mandatory quarantine. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €3,000, each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine.

Persons who test positive for the virus responsible for Covid19 need to undergo mandatory quarantine. The duration of mandatory quarantine is determined by public health authorities. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €10,000 each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine.

Persons identified by the public health authorities as close contacts of confirmed cases and who do not live with confirmed cases will be put under mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the last day of contact with the person who tested positive, provided they do not develop any symptoms related to Covid-19. This is enforceable by law. People breaking the mandatory quarantine will be fined €3,000 each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine. A close contact who forms part of the household of a confirmed case and who lives with the positive case will need to remain in mandatory quarantine until cleared by public health (i.e. for as long as the positive case is under quarantine). This can be longer than 14 days.

What does mandatory quarantine mean?
Mandatory quarantine means legally enforceable self-isolation in your home, and NOT leaving for the period that one is required to quarantine for. During this period of mandatory quarantine, no visitors should be allowed. Those under quarantine should monitor for symptoms and self-monitor their temperature twice daily.

Does this mean my family or other people I live with also need to undergo quarantine?
Yes, all the other members living in the same household must undergo mandatory quarantine as well.

When does the mandatory quarantine related to travel end?
People who are in mandatory quarantine due to travel, and have never tested positive for Covid-19, can resume their activities on the day following the 14-day period of quarantine, provided they do not develop any symptoms related to Covid-19. The 14-day period starts from the day after departure from any country to Malta and ends at midnight on the 14th day. E.g. quarantine starting on 7th April ends at midnight on 21st April. This also applies to persons living in the same household, as any of the above persons must also spend 14 days in mandatory quarantine.

When does the mandatory quarantine related to a close contact of a Covid-19 positive person end?
This depends on whether the person identified by the public health authorities as being close contacts of confirmed cases lives in the same household as the confirmed case. 

Persons identified by the public health authorities as close contacts of confirmed cases who are not living in the same household will be put under mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the last day of contact with the positive case, provided they do not develop any symptoms related to Covid-19.

Persons living in the same household as the positive case (i.e. household contacts) must remain in mandatory quarantine as long as the positive case him / herself is in mandatory quarantine. Household contacts should therefore expect to spend a minimum of 21 days in mandatory quarantine, or possibly longer, depending on when the public health authorities release the positive case from mandatory quarantine. This period of mandatory quarantine may be reset if another member of the household tests positive for Covid-19 during the quarantine period.

When does the mandatory quarantine of a Covid-19 positive person end?
For people who have tested positive for Covid-19, the duration of mandatory quarantine is subject to the assessment carried out by the clinical team and by public health authorities.

When does the mandatory quarantine related to a household member of a Covid-19 positive person end?
Household members who live with a person recovering from Covid-19 also need to follow the same quarantine procedures as that of the Covid-19 person as outlined above. They will also be released from home isolation at the same time as the person with Covid-19.

Why is staying at home very important?
Staying at home helps to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community. It will also help to control the spread of the virus. This may be difficult or frustrating, but there are things that you can do to make it easier. These include:
- Asking friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online. Alternatively, you can 21411411 for assistance. Make sure any deliveries are left outside your home for you to collect.
- Keeping in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media.
- Keeping yourself busy by cooking, reading, online learning and watching films.
- Taking online courses or classes to help you to exercise in your home.

​Keeping spirits up while in quarantine
Being under quarantine can be frightening, particularly for young children. Suggestions include:
-Talk to the other members of the family about the infection. Understanding novel coronavirus will reduce anxiety.
- Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
- Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
- Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too.

Reducing boredom while in quarantine
Being confined to home for an extended period can cause boredom, stress and conflict. Suggestions include:
- Arrange with your employer to work from home, if possible.
- Ask your child’s school to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by email.
- Don’t rely too heavily on the television and technology. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.
- Exercise regularly. Options could include dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the garden or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, if you have it. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
- Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.

What do I do if I am in quarantine and develop symptoms?
If you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Fever.
- Cough.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tiredness.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- Headache.
- Muscle pain.
- Loss of smell.
- Loss of taste or altered taste.
- Diarrhoea.
- Vomiting.

Important:
- Remain at home.
- DO NOT go to private clinics, emergency department, health centres, pharmacies or other healthcare facilities.
- Phone the public health helpline on 111 for advice.

What is self-isolation?
- Self-isolation means that you must remain strictly within your household separated from the rest of the household members where possible.
- Stay away from others.
- As much as possible stay within a specific “sick room” using a separate bathroom and toilet. “Sick room” should always be adequately ventilated. Open any windows as much as possible. Air conditioners at home do not provide ventilation, but only change the temperature. You should eat meals within this same “sick room”. Where possible use a separate toilet. If this is not possible, use the toilet after the other household members and use your own separate toiletries. This should be then well ventilated with fresh air for a minimum of 1 hour, and thereafter carefully cleaned with a neutral detergent, followed by decontamination of surfaces using a disinfectant effective against viruses.
- You should wear a face mask within the home if you cannot be isolated from other members of the household.
- No visitors are allowed into your home.

Whom can I contact if I have any questions?
Persons who test positive for Covid-19 should contact the discharge and follow up team on  covid19.followup@gov.mt​​ or on 23266111 between 8.00am to 5.00pm.

Contacts who have been placed in mandatory quarantine should contact the Contact Tracing Team on covid19.tracing@gov.mt. Please provide detailed information including name, surname, ID card number and phone number to enable us to find your records in our database.

If you wish to contact the public health authorities on issues regarding quarantine, please send an email to quarantine.covid19@gov.mt​.​

Legislation:


Guidance on Quarantine in​ Different Languages​
Guidance on Quarantine​ (English / French / Somali / Tigrinya)​​​