Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli has responded to calls for her resignation by resorting to a politically partisan argument.
“Attacks won’t stop me,” Farrugia Portelli said. “These are the facts that bother some Nationalists who don’t care about Malta. We spent €44 million on vouchers to Maltese families and I have no problem saying that I worked for them and promoted them.”
Amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases, several European countries, including the UK and Italy, have imposed travel restrictions on arrivals from Malta, a blow to the island’s tourism industry, which had suffered months of lockdown earlier this year.
The government has so far reacted to the rise in cases by imposing restrictions on events, bars and nightclubs and by making the wearing of masks mandatory inside a number of locations.
Health Minister Chris Fearne has also pledged to swab some passengers who arrive in Malta from high-risk destinations.