A diabetic Maltese woman was booted off public transport and fined for eating a cracker without a mask as part of growing enforcement on COVID-19 regulations.
Two women spoke to Lovin Malta to detail the incident. One woman, who is in her 70s, was wearing her mask on a bus from Valletta to Hal-Kirkop when she decided to take it off to eat some crackers.
An officer suddenly appeared on board and chastised the woman for breaching regulations. The woman tried to explain herself and even provided the officer with documentation to prove her condition.
They would not listen and ordered the elderly woman off the bus, sending her off with a fine to boot. She continued pleading, but the officer told her that she could take the issue up with the tribunal.
Luckily, the woman was soon able to catch another bus but was shocked by the behaviour of the officers, calling on them to have some common sense when upholding the law.
Mask-wearing in public spaces has become mandatory following a new set of COVID-19 restrictions, which include six-person limits, the closure of bars, and limits on snack bars. They have not been warmly received with people’s livelihood on the line. Fines have increased from €100 to €200 and over 620 people have been fined so far.
Back in May, when active COVID-19 cases were beginning to drop, Prime Minister Robert Abela proudly told party media that he plans to introduce an amnesty mechanism for people who receive fines for breaking restrictions. However, it is yet to develop beyond Abela’s address.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Home Affairs Ministry for comment but is yet to even receive an acknowledgement on questions sent.
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