Investor sentiment on Malta’s management of the COVID-19 crisis plunged by over a third during the summer months, an EY survey has shown.
Back in June, 91% of surveyed foreign direct investors assessed the government’s success in addressing the pandemic as positive, while 7% viewed it as neutral and only 2% as negative.
However, when the survey was repeated towards the end of September, the number of positive replies slipped dramatically to 26%, while the neutral and negative replies increased to 48% and 26% respectively.
Sentiment on the government’s support measures to businesses to help them cope with the pandemic remained practically unchanged in September, with 61% assessing them as positive, 30% as neutral and 9% as negative.
Back in June, 61% assessed the support measures as positive, 32% as neutral and 7% as negative.
Malta managed to bring the pandemic down to three active COVID-19 cases at the start of the summer, with the government declaring at one point that the island had “won the war” against the virus.
However, cases have since shot up to a current active total of 1,649 and doctors have warned they are under significant pressure to cope with the demand.
Several countries have imposed travel restrictions on Malta and the government has imposed an 11pm curfew on bars, a ten-person limit on public gatherings, and a law making mask-wearing mandatory practically everywhere to contain the virus’ spread.
It has resisted calls to reintroduce the aggressive measures it introduced last March, such as closing schools and several businesses, arguing that it needs to strike a balance between safeguarding public health and people’s livelihoods.
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