The Nationalist Party has come out against the new vaccine rules that are set to be enforced on 17th January, which will limit entry to bars, restaurants, gyms and other establishments to adequately vaccinated people.
“PN calls on the government to scrap the measures set to be introduced on the 17th January, which effectively make the vaccine booster mandatory,” the PN said this evening.
“Given that two-thirds of the country have already taken the booster while the less virulent Omicron has become the dominant strain in Malta, the PN believes the measures no longer strike the right balance between public health and people’s freedoms.”
“While PN fully supports the health advice to take the vaccine and the booster for both personal and public safety reasons, the party also believes in the rights of people to take their own decision, especially in the changing context of the pandemic.”
“Those who are sceptical of the booster are more likely to be convinced by medical advice from a trusted doctor than by being checkmated by the government. PN is confident that given the right information, people will be responsible in their choices and attitudes, while being more respectful towards others, especially those who are vulnerable.”
The party also warned that the measures will also add another burden on employers, who are already facing huge difficulties with labour supply, increased costs and added bureaucracy, as well as on 15-18 year olds, who have yet to receive their booster invitation, and people who couldn’t get boosted on time because they go infected with COVID-19 or were stuck in quarantine.
“PN believes that even if the government plans to retain these measures, it must be much more transparent in the science on which it is basing these decisions and explain why Malta has gone further than most countries even in terms of the duration permitted between vaccine and booster,” the party said.
It also reiterated its call for self-testing kits to be made legal and available, as the number of active cases increases and the call centres and public testing facilities become harder to access.
The PN’s statement comes a few days after Opposition Leader Bernard Grech endorsed the upcoming rules.
“We’re making it clear that we follow the health authorities’ official instructions as they have all the details in hand, and we will keep endorsing official decisions,” Grech had said when questioned by Lovin Malta at a press conference.
However, he said the PN will keep on urging the health authorities to be more transparent with the information in its possession, warning their opacity risks undermining public trust in the vaccine.
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