Fotografie di Daria Troitskaia
Malta’s connection with Italy has deep historical roots. We can observe it in the little things: for example, for a long time, there was only one Maltese channel on TV, while all others were in Italian. There are many Italians living in Malta, Italian cafes and restaurants shape the local culinary landscape to a large degree. This is why Malta immediately started enforcing measures to contain the pandemic when the situation in Italy with COVID-19 became worse. Everyone who arrived from countries with the virus had to stay in quarantine for 2 weeks, they were checked in by the police, lately all flights except for repatriation were stopped. Malta is a small island, so it was not a problem to close the border and take control over the whereabouts of the population. The government asked people to stay at home as much as possible, everything except of supermarkets and pharmacies was closed. People largely followed the requirements and stayed at home, so even at the peak of the infection rate there were 52 new cases per day. Now the infections are down to only 1-2 new cases a day, so businesses started reopening. Social distancing is still recommended, people need to wear masks in shops, and groups over 4 are prohibited. Overall, people are optimistic and approve of the inflicted measures: the minister of health is now very popular among the Maltese.