Curfews are “draconian, unnecessary and counterproductive” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Malta’s hotel lobby has argued.
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association believes that effective enforcement would prevent such measures being implemented and that introducing a 9pm curfew would be detrimental to local businesses.
“Curfews will kill the business of all restaurants or other places that operate in the evening. The introduction of any form of curfew will not only serve to create further hardship on the hospitality sector – in particular hotels and restaurants – but more significantly it will not lead to achieving the desired objectives of better managing the spread of COVID-19,” it said.
As it stands, all bars have been instructed to remain closed until 1st February to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Though bars have been closed for several months now, restaurants are still allowed to serve alcoholic beverages and the restrictions haven’t prevented people from hosting parties or gatherings indoors.
“Curfews will push for irregular activities to go underground,” the MHRA continued. “The association calls upon the government to ensure that those responsible for enforcement are adequately resourced to be more effective in enforcing the rules that are in place.”
As a response to calls for more measures, the MHRA suggested that private events cater to no more than four people and that fines should be issued to those found complicit in breaking the rule.
“The solution lies with effective enforcement of protocols in public places and self-catering units,” it said.
Earlier today, the Medical Association of Malta said a curfew should be introduced alongside “more serious and effective enforcement”, warning that hospitals have reached breaking point with patients.
Lovin Malta ran a poll on social media asking followers whether they agree with a 9pm curfew. Over 60% of participants said they would support a curfew system.
Malta currently has 2,740 active COVID-19 cases.
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