MUMN welcomed the Malta Tourism Authority’s clarification that bars can only serve seated patrons if they are to remain open, but nevertheless expressed its reservations at the move in light of two important concerns.
On Monday, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced the closure of bars and clubs, though establishments which served as bars and restaurants could still remain open provided that they served food and their patrons remained seated. But in an apparent watering down of this measure, the MTA said that bars could remain open even if they simply served crisps to their seated patrons.
The MUMN insisted that food sharing – as is custom in most bars and każini – should not be allowed, since it facilitated the transmission of disease, and said that it expected the MTA to check that it does not take place.
‘Poor’ credibility on enforcement
The other key issue was enforcement, with the union stating that bars and każini can easily introduce snacks and platters to remain open only to retain a business as usual approach.
“The concept that everyone will be seated, and no one can gather around a bar is acceptable in concept but needs heavily enforcement,” the MUMN said. “The government’s credibility on enforcement is considered poor when the economy factors in so MUMN has great reservations on the success of such regulations.”
The MUMN emphasised that Malta was paying a high price as a result of the second wave. The only positive, it said, was that no deaths have been reported recently, but it warned that there was no guarantee that this streak would continue.
The union also highlighted that there was no guarantee that the current measures would be enough to control the second wave, insisting that the MTA should boost enforcement.
“Time will tell if the government is taking the Maltese people for a ride at the expense of our own health and economy. MUMN will be monitoring the situation and if things go to worst, directives will be enforced,” it concluded.
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