Malta is split on whether or not the country should enter a lockdown to combat a second wave of COVID-19 on the islands.
A Malta Today survey found that while 53.3% of people say the disagreed with drastic measure, around 37.6% said they agreed and further 9.1% said they were unsure.
Opposition to lockdown is common across most regions in Malta. However, around 59.8% of respondents from sister island Gozo backed the measure.
Backing a lockdown, it seems, has also become a partisan issue. Around 57.9% of PN voters support the lockdown compared to the Labour Party’s 20.5%.
Opposition to a lockdown is the majority among all age groups. However, the greatest opposition is among the 36 to 50 cohort, most of whom could be feeling the brunt of the financial pressures associated with the pandemic.
Malta has instituted a swathe of measures to combat the latest spike, including the mandatory wearing of masks, a six-person limit in public, the closure of bars, and limits of snacks bars.
The debate comes after several European countries introduce lockdowns to prevent medical services from becoming overburdened.
Meanwhile, Malta’s seven-day moving average of daily COVID-19 cases stood at 126 when it started enforcing the wearing of masks, and although that figure had dipped to 95, it rose to 136 as of 6th November.
COVID-19-related fatalities are also becoming more commonplace. Today, the government announced three COVID-19 related deaths.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has dismissed rumours of an impending lockdown, saying he has “no idea” where such rumours originated from.
However, he also warned against easing existing restrictions by allowing snack bars to operate as restaurants and allowing people to remove their masks when going for solitary walks in the countryside.
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