Govt. seeks vessel to quarantine immigrants at sea

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Maltese Government has issued an expression of interest for a vessel on which to quarantine immigrants.

The Ministry for Internal Affairs issued a statement outlining that all precautions surrounding immigrants found positive for COVID-19 have been taken, and that they have always been in isolation. In fact, a clinic has been opened in Ħal Far, and is being managed by the Red Cross.

The Government stated that it is working to reduce such arrivals. In fact, over the past few weeks, thousands of immigrants fleeing Libya never made it out of Libyan waters and were taken back to Libya. Furthermore, immigrants are being relocated, and persons not eligible for asylum are being sent back. However, the statement also outlined that in many cases with immigration to Malta, it is a life or death situation. This means that Malta is legally obliged to bring immigrants in, as according to the laws that bind it.

According to the statement, this is why the Maltese Government feels the need for a vessel in order to ensure control over the situation. Furthermore, the Government’s aim is to reduce arrivals first, and the use of the vessel is in case the Armed Forces of Malta “have no choice but to save persons who are downing”.