After been forced to fork out money to quarantine at a hotel despite living in Malta, a Nigerian fitness influencer has publicly urged the government to refund her money.
Charity O’ Fate (who goes by the name activize) uploaded a video recounting her ordeal as she arrived in Malta from Nigeria last August, where she had travelled to meet her family.
Although she has a residence in Malta, she was informed at the airport that she would have to quarantine for two weeks at a hotel as Nigeria was classified as a ‘dark red’ country, a rule the health authorities ended up changing following public outcry.
At the hotel, Charity filmed a hotel manager and a Malta Tourism Authority official warning her and a roommate that they will be sued if they don’t pay the full bill of €1,400, as per official procedure.
“You’ll end up paying the amount you owe, plus the court expenses and legal fees,” the MTA official warned them. “I understand you already paid €800 so it’s not worth the hassle for just €600.”
At one point, he also warned that their assets could be frozen to ensure they pay the bill.
The roommate, who identified herself as a carer, tried to appeal to the MTA official’s kinder side, telling him that she simply cannot afford the bill as she only earns €1,000 a month and must support her brother who suffers from kidney failure.
However, the MTA official bluntly responded that “everyone has a sad situation and everyone has their reasons… unfortunately this is the law.”
They then appealed to allow one or two more roommates into their room so they could split the bill further, a request which was accepted with the caveat that they would have to quarantine for a further two weeks if one of their new roommates ends up testing positive for COVID-19.
Since her release from quarantine, Charity joined a Valletta protest against COVID-19 restrictions to ask for a refund of the quarantine bill.
“I want my money back. I am protesting because you took my money and I want it back.”
She urged people not to just accept unjust laws and rules blindly, citing how American runner Kathrine Switzer had famously defied the rules to become the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967.
“Imagine people like her didn’t take steps to demand change; change would never have happened otherwise. We can’t just say that the law is the law and we must accept it; if the law doesn’t make sense, you have to challenge it.”
Do you think people like Charity should be refunded?