English language schools should remain open to vaccinated visitors, especially after employees and students abided by strict measures without much government oversight, the Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta has argued.
FELTOM said English language schools were “unprepared and shocked” when the government announced that all schools will have to close by 14th July in light of a spike in COVID-19 cases, many of which stemmed from unvaccinated foreign students.
“The sudden announcement of the closure of a specific section of the tourism market will be problematic not only for language schools but also for the entire tourism sector and other stakeholders, not to mention the greater EU tourism market,” the federation said in a statement.
“We feel that this is a drastic reaction reached by the Government without proper consultation with the stakeholders of the consequences and implications on the ELT Schools, its employees, its students (present and future) and all the stakeholders,” it said.
FELTOM emphasised that the closure of language schools was not warranted given that health authorities also announced that Malta will only be accepting tourists with a recognised vaccine certificate, and condemned the government’s lack of action as being the reason as to why cases began to rise in the first place.
“While the schools have impressed on their employees and students the importance of adhering to the measures, including mask-wearing and social distancing while in public, the reinforcement of such measures by the government has been barely visible, bearing in mind that it is only the government that has the authority to enforce such measures,” it said.
Despite investing resources in order to implement and follow COVID-19 guidelines, FELTOM argues that the “unilateral decision” led to “such disproportionate and extreme measures” and called for schools to be allowed to remain open “like all other public institutions to these vaccinated visitors”.
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