An upcoming COVID-19 directive encouraging people to remain people to remain in their car when crossing the channel between Malta and Gozo between 11th and 17th February has been criticised by the union representing Gozo Channel workers.
UĦM Voice of the Workers said this directive, which Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on 27th January, goes against against international maritime conventions on security as well as the Gozo Channel’s own protocols.
The union said it had immediately drawn Gozo Channel’s attention to the risks involved and insisted on an independent risk assessment being carried out.
In the absence of this, Gozo Channel captains insist they won’t be held legally responsible for any consequences which may result from this directive.
The union also warned “mixed message” are creating confusion, with some passengers refusing to get out of the car during the trip and telling workers they have no intention of ignoring the Prime Minister.
“UĦM will keep insisting for the issuance of a public notice signalling the withdrawal of this directive to quell the existing doubts and in the interest of the safety of the commuters using the ferry service.”
On a more general level, the union suggested this measure will only create a false sense of security that the pandemic is being properly tackled.
“The recent experience of the holiday season when active cases exploded after people turned a blind eye to the COVID-19 restrictions showed that the situation may only remain under control through a broad strategy on various fronts and not just cosmetic measures.”
What do you make of this new COVID-19 directive?