Employers urged not to accept staff traveling to high risk zones

People arriving at the Roma Termini railway station have their self-certifications checked by police in Rome
A woman arriving at the Roma Termini railway station is seen as her self-certification is checked by police, a document which proves where she has travelled from, after a virtual lockdown was placed on the north of the country, in Rome, Italy, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Employers have been strongly urged not to accept any individuals who have traveled to high risk areas to the workplace, by the Malta Employers’ Association.

The MEA issued a statement on quarantine leave to its members. In the coming days, the MEA will be issuing FAQs dealing with other aspects of the coronavirus to its members.

On Tuesday afternoon, the health authorities said that a fifth person had tested positive to coronavirus in Malta. The first three cases involve an Italian family who had travelled to Italy. Upon their return to Malta they were in self-quarantine until their 12-year-old daughter developed symptoms associated with coronavirus on Saturday. Her parents then tested positive. The fourth case was announced on Monday evening and involves a patient who travelled to Trentino Alto Adige in Italy between 23 and 27 February with his family. While his 16-year-old daughter tested positive to the virus on Tuesday, his partner did not.

The association said that it has submitted its proposals on Covid-19 but did not receive any official feedback about the proposals. However, since its members have been asking questions to the association particularly about the payment during quarantine, the MEA has issued a number of recommendations.

MEA members are being advised to:

  • All employees who have travelled and who will travel to areas declared as high risk zones by the public health authorities will be obliged to spend a 14 day period under quarantine. This is not a matter of choice but of the safety of co-workers.
  • Employers are strongly urged not to accept any persons who have travelled to high risk areas to the workplace. If possible, teleworking will be assigned
  • Unless the travel is work related, the period of quarantine shall not be paid by the employer, unless teleworking is being made
  • If the employee displays symptoms of the Corona virus, the period from when the symptoms appear will be regarded as sick leave, provided it is certified

The MEA said that it will have the opportunity to discuss related issues with representatives from the Public Health Authorities and the OHSA during the information session scheduled for later on this week.

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