‘Strong indication’ from Maltese authorities that COVID-19 restrictions will be eased within two weeks, tourism lobbyist says

Maltese authorities have given “strong indications” that more COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in the coming weeks, the chairman of the Malta Hotel and Restaurant Association (MRA) has said.

“We have had discussions with the authorities and they have given us strong indications that the restrictions will be eased in the next 14 days,” Tony Zahra told Lovin Malta.

Although he did not specify which rules it would be, he said the MHRA had received a ‘tsunami’ of complaints from the hospitality industry over new vaccine entry rules which came in effective last Monday.

“There has been a mix of complaints, such as its implementation and the training of servers in its use, to the fact that not all cell phones can read certificates.”

Zahra said the MHRA’s position is in favor of “reclaiming our freedoms”.

Health Minister Chris Fearne

“If people feel vulnerable, they have the freedom to decide whether to go somewhere or not,” he said. “Freedom is the ability to choose whether to leave your home knowing you might be run over by a car or staying home knowing a car won’t run you over.”

“If you cross the road and look left and right or use a zebra crossing, your chances of getting run over are less. Likewise, if you attend an indoor event packed with people, your chances of contracting COVID-19 are much higher than if you are alone in the street.

“It’s your freedom to choose where you want to go.”

Citing how a resident of a nursing home for the elderly recently go on a hunger strike to protest her being quarantined for several weeks, Zahra said freedom is “very important”.

He said that while unvaccinated people “pose a threat to themselves and others” and he would certainly encourage people to get vaccinated, “at the end of the day freedom is freedom”.

England and Ireland recently decided to drop most of their COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine certificate requirements, with UK Health Minister Sajid Javid indicating that COVID-19 could be here forever and the world needs to “learn to live with it” like it does with the flu.

However, France has used its upcoming Vaccine Act rules to justify the upcoming relaxation of other restrictions, such as an outdoor face mask mandate and audience capacity limits for events and concert halls.

Should Malta scrap its vaccine entry rules?

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