The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) notes that Malta is on the EU’s red travel list as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to spike in recent weeks. MHRA has in the past months been on the forefront to commend Government for spearheading a pro vaccination policy with a view to position Malta as a safe destination for travelers whilst ensuring public health is protected.
Across the world, despite the need of PCR test before entry to a destination is granted unvaccinated travelers still pose a risk of spreading COVID 19. As local health authorities have confirmed that the majority of the recent new infected cases are unvaccinated individuals, MHRA President Tony Zahra said that “Malta’s task now is to complete the vaccination drive to get every resident in Malta protected”.
The situation however still remains complex, and any miscommunication or U-turns leave a significant negative impact both on the image of the Maltese islands as a destination of choice for tourists, and on the bottom line of hotel and restaurant operations. MHRA therefore appeals to Government to work closer with stakeholders to face a common challenge which is leaving unprecedented damages to the economy and well-being of the people.
In this context, MHRA appeals to Government to align its COVID 19 policy direction to the number of infected patients recovering in hospital rather than those being infected not needing hospitalization.
Concurrently, Government must pursue its efforts to reduce the number of infected people in order to get back the “Green” status as soon as possible.
MHRA also notes the labour shortage in the hospitality industry and calls upon Government to exempt tax on overtime and part time revenues earned by employees working in the tourism, travel and hospitality sector. Indeed, we need to do all what is needed to attract and retain employees working in the tourism industry even during such difficult times, as if we get this wrong then the repercussions can be serious.
“We live in very difficult and uncertain times and now is the time when all our efforts must be jointly focused on sustainable solutions”.
“We need simple and clear protocols which safeguard public health but also which reflect the needs of the economy. It’s important to remember that the economy is all of us and that tourism is the heart that pumps the economic blood”.