Labour’s Deputy Leader Daniel Micallef has praised Prime Minister Robert Abela for having never put Malta into total lockdown, predicting that people will appreciate the “courage” this decision entailed in the future.
“We took timely and balanced measures to safeguard lives and livelihoods, and although the pandemic is still with us, we now have a vaccine,” Micallef told a press conference, held to mark the first anniversary since Abela’s election as Prime Minister.
“Looking back, we managed to do this without imposing a total lockdown as other countries had done, which was the only hasty and plan-less solution that some here were proposing up until a few months ago.”
Micallef referred to the serious consequences of lockdown in other countries around the world.
“We can see the repercussions of a total lockdown in other countries, both from an economic perspective and a mental health one. I think we’ll appreciate these decisions and the courage it took to take them in the future, especially when we look back at this period.”
Malta imposed several restrictions at the start of the pandemic last year, closing down schools, the airport, bars, restaurants, and non-essential retail stores and services, and limiting gatherings. However, it embarked on a different strategy during the second wave, closing down bars and nightclubs and maintaining social distancing rules while making masks mandatory everywhere, but leaving most businesses open.
Last Sunday, Abela predicted that Malta’s avoidance of a strict lockdown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will make the island more attractive to foreign investors.
“Now is the moment that foreign investors are surveying their options on where they can potentially expand. When they cast their eye on Malta, they’ll see a country which didn’t close its factories and keep its workers at home, unable to go to work,” he said.
“In fact, we took measures that allowed workers to keep on working.”
“When foreign investors hold discussions at their head office, they’ll comment on how Malta managed to keep on moving, compared with other countries.”
“I believe the decision many investors will take is that it’s worth it to invest in Malta.”
What do you make of Malta’s decision to resist total lockdown?