The President of the Chamber of Commerce David Xuereb said that it’s time to open the economy further, and for people to return to work in a safe and responsible way, whilst cautioning that mixed messages are resulting in confusion.
In a press conference released by the Chamber, Xuereb underlined The Malta Chamber’s view that the three principles which are to be considered when taking decisions are physical health, economic health and mental health.
Whilst the Malta Chamber strongly supports the further strengthening of all three factors, it stressed that one cannot look at economic health of a nation alone. It insisted that it is not realistic to pursue aims of close to zero Covid-19 cases without a widely available vaccine, and so, social distancing and hygiene will remain highly important as the world, including Malta, learns to live with the virus, adapting to a new lifestyle.
However, the Chamber believes that in spite of this, it is time to reopen businesses and the economy, keeping in mind the importance of being ready and prepared to cater for the safety of employees.
“Steps towards opening the economy further need to be actioned, and this needs to happen as quickly as possible…we need to do this with the utmost professionality and responsibility, so that all key principles are taken care of and we continue to ensure that the number of infected remains low,” Perit Xuereb said. “We should not open at all costs. Confidence must be re-introduced into the economy responsibly and in a way that respects all safety standards.”
On the risk assessments that employers must carry out before re-introducing staff to their workspaces, Perit Xuereb said requirements for employers must be communicated clearly and quickly so that they are as prepared as possible. “We need to return to work, and those who are scared should only be if their employer is not prepared to provide for safe work environment.”
The Prime Minister is about to deliver a press conference, starting at 7pm, presumably about the lifting of Covid-19 restrictive measures, since yesterday he spoke about the reopening of hairdressers and restaurants by the end of this week.
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