Malta should open tourist corridors with countries which have successfully contained the COVID-19 pandemic and test tourists upon arrival, the Malta Chamber of SMEs has proposed.
In a list of proposals to reignite the Maltese economy, which they presented to the government yesterday, the Chamber effectively endorsed a call by the European Commission to revive tourism across the EU.
The small business Chamber’s call to test tourists upon arrival is similar to plans recently announced by Iceland, which plans to open up to visitors by 15th June.
Travellers are set to be given a choice to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport or be quarantined for two weeks. They will also reportedly be expected to download an official contact tracing app.
“[Malta needs to] set up an immediate, medium and long term plan for its tourism strategy,” the Chamber said. “Although the plans should not be set in stone when planning for the restart of safe tourism movements, plans are needed.”
“As an SME Chamber, we agree with the strategy of tourism corridors between Covid safe counties and also Covid tests for tourists travelling.”
Other notable proposals by the Chamber include a re-employment subsidy scheme for people who have lost their job due to the pandemic, whereby the government will cover €500 of their wages for a year upon re-employment.
They also called for the revision of income tax brackets so that income not exceeding €100,000 in profits will be taxed up to 20%, the removal of excise taxes on beauty products and tyres, and the introduction of a scheme which would see the government help retail outlets pay their rent until business improves.