English language students are still being taken out on group activities, despite the publication of the legal notice closing language schools.
Employees working within language schools told Lovin Malta that students are still being taken out on group activities. The Government has only shut down the schools themselves, meaning that there is no prohibition on the activities taking place.
Official replies from The Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta (FELTOM) have said that all activities are held maintaining social-distancing measures. They are functioning in groups of no larger than 6 and keeping their masks on. As it stands, they are not contravening the law.
However, Lovin Malta has been told by employees of a certain language school, that the rule safeguarding one leader for every 15 students, is not being respected.
FELTOM said that it is unable to confirm the claims of activity groups breaching regulations, reiterating that all rules imposed by the government should be strictly adhered to.
“The Federation will never condone behaviour that goes against the rules and regulations that have been imposed on all operators,” a spokesperson said.
“Time and again the Federation has drawn the attention of this particular organisation to the fact that it was being informally accused of not respecting the regulations in their entirety and to immediately regularise their behaviour in line with the measures.”
English Language Schools closed down on Wednesday 14th July following an increase in COVID-19 cases, many of which stemmed from unvaccinated foreign students.
Following the initial announcement, FELTOM said that the schools should remain open to vaccinated visitors, especially after employees and students abided by strict measures without much government oversight.
It has since said that the decision has left language schools in “complete panic and disarray” with 2,000 employees at risk.
“The only thing we are getting is a ‘wait and see’ attitude,” one particularly upset FELTOM member stated.
Earlier this week, the government also announced plans to block anyone without a vaccine from entering the country. The government later backtracked after the European Commission condemned the decision and considered it to be discriminatory.
Now, a new legal notice says that anyone entering Malta without the vaccine must put themselves up in mandatory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel.
The Times of Malta has reported that the Malta Tourism Authority has now issued calls for an additional quarantine hotel, as the first hotel, the Corinthia Marina Hotel in St George’s Bay is approaching full capacity. Unvaccinated hoteliers will be charged a hefty €1,400 per room for their 14-day stay.
Failure to follow such guidelines could lead to fines of up to €10,000.
Children aged 12 and under, and those who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons have been exempt from having to produce the certificate or having to quarantine. Instead, they are to show a negative PCR test, performed within 72 hours of their departure.
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