Malta’s largest medical union welcomed the fresh restrictions announced to curb the spread of COVID-19 but blamed the government’s lassiez-faire attitude for the island’s largest spike of cases this week.
“We welcome some of the measures announced yesterday evening, however we remain very sceptical and unconvinced on the willingness to enforce by the government,” Medical Association Malta wrote in a statement.
As of today, mask-wearing will be mandatory across Malta as a prevention against the spread of COVID-19, but there will be some exceptions. People will be allowed to take their masks off at home, in their personal cars and when they’re at the office by themselves.
An 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants, effective as of Monday was also announced as a response in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Unfortunately the Maltese people are yet to see the worst of this epidemic,” MAM said.
The union blasted the state’s business as usual attitude and cosmetic measures against the spread of the virus.
“Fake measures such as ‘crisps with covid’ in bars and social clubs have acted as superspreaders. Fake or no enforcement, coupled with fake and pardonable fines have led to regular mass events in areas like Paceville and Valletta,” it said, adding that the new curfew on bars will have no impact if the state isn’t willing to enforce its own rules.
It also pointed at the low number of testing at the airport and called for obligatory testing for all incoming passengers.
“If these measures fail there will be no option left except lockdowns and curfews as has
happened in Spain, France and the UK,” it warned.
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