It is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the world’s economies and brought down numerous healthcare systems to their knees. However, Malta and the strategy implemented by the local government, Health Minister Hon Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci has received prestigious plaudit. Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary General very recently described Malta as ‘‘the best in the whole of Europe’’. She also went on to add that ‘‘Many people are looking at Malta, not only celebrating her, but also copying her too.’’ (29th May 2020)
Being a small and dense island, Malta was faced with quite a test to manage the highly contagious COVID-19. However, through quick actioning, widespread and easily available testing, avid contact tracing, and partial lockdown measures, Malta has successfully managed to flatten the curve. Following are some numbers that put our words into context.
Statistics (as at 04th June 2020)
Swab tests are currently available in less than an hour and free of charge to all citizens of Malta.
In addition to a health based strategy well ahead of the game, the government of Malta has also made sure to safeguard and cushion the economic impact. In fact, following is a summary of the incentives and support provided:
- Tax deferrals
- Grants for providing teleworking
- Grant for Quarantine leave
- Social Measures
- Wage supplement scheme (businesses and self employed)
Further detail on such incentives may be found in our next article.
Malta reports the first imported case
Travel ban to Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland 14 day quarantine for all persons travelling back from these countries
Closure of all schools, university, elderly centres and childcare centres
Mandatory quarantine for travellers returning from any country
Closure of gyms, bars, cinemas & restaurants (except for take outs)
Introduction of financial package for businesses of almost €2 billion
All passenger flights inbound to Malta temporarily suspended
Closure of all non essential retail and services
Prohibition of all organised group gatherings
Partial re-opening of non essential services (preventative measures to be followed)
Re-opening of almost all non essential services (preventative measures to be followed)
Re-opening of all businesses and all employees can return to work (preventative measures to be followed)
Multi-million mini budget to be announced
Re-opening of Malta airport (travel to 19 specified countries allowed)
Whilst we endeavour to provide precise and timely information, there can be no assurance that such article is accurate as of the date it is received. The information provided herein is merely intended for general information purposes and cannot be construed as professional advice without seeking an appropriate consultation.