Maltese authorities have given “strong indications” that more COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in the coming weeks, the president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MRA) has said.
“We have had discussions with the authorities and they have given us strong indications that restrictions will be eased within the next 14 days,” Tony Zahra told Lovin Malta.
Although he didn’t specify which rules these will be, he said the MHRA has received a “tsunami” of complaints from the hospitality industry about the new vaccine entry rules which came into force last Monday.
“There have been a mixture of complaints, such as about implementing it and teaching waiters how to use it to the fact that not all mobile phones can read certificates.”
Zahra said the MHRA’s position is in favour of “regaining our freedoms”.
“If people feel vulnerable, they have the freedom to decide whether to go somewhere or not,” he argued. “Freedom is the ability to choose whether to leave your home in the knowledge that you can be run over by a car or to stay at home and know that a car won’t run you over.”
“If you’re crossing the road and look left and right or use a zebra crossing, your chances of getting run over are smaller. Similarly, if you attend an indoor event packed with people, your chances of getting COVID-19 are much higher than if you’re out in the street by yourself.”
“It’s your freedom to choose where you want to go.”
Citing how an elderly care home resident recently went on hunger strike in protest at being placed in quarantine for several weeks, Zahra said that freedom is “very important”.
He said that while unvaccinated people “pose a threat to themselves and others” and that he would certainly encourage people to get the jab, “ultimately freedom is freedom”.
England and Ireland recently decided to scrap most of their COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine certificate requirements, with UK Health Minister Sajid Javid stating that COVID-19 might be here forever and that the world needs “to learn how to live with it” as it does with the flu.
However, France has used its upcoming vaccine law rules to justify the upcoming easing of other restrictions, such as an outdoor face mask mandate and audience capacity limits for events and concert halls.