VALLETTA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Sunday that airports and ports will resume operations on July 1 while bars, gyms and law courts will reopen on Friday.
Abela told a television interview on party station ONE TV that following the good results in the past days, the decision was taken to start the process to return to complete normality, as the numbers were showing that COVID-19 "was a thing of the past in Malta."
Referring to those who were concerned that the relaxation of measures was going to bring about a second wave or a spike in cases, he said they have been proven wrong.
"These are exciting times for Malta. We are returning to normality," he said.
Abela said his government will on Monday make a formal announcement on lifting the restrictions.
He said that while measures to keep people safe will remain in place, the government did not want to send a signal to tourists that they should not visit Malta.
He said that on June 8, the government will announce a multi-million-euro budget that will encourage businesses to invest and consumers to spend money.
Malta had closed its airport and ports on March 21 to curb the spread of the pandemic. The decision to ban incoming flights came after Malta first banned travels to and from Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain.
As of Sunday, Malta had 618 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 534 recoveries, 75 active cases and nine deaths.