Restaurants should be temporarily exempted from VAT payments this month so as to help them pass through a period of uncertainty brought about by fears of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Nationalist Party has proposed.
“At the height of global concern about the spread of COVID-19, our country requires solutions for the tourism sector to recover as quickly as possible,” PN MP Robert Arrigo said in a statement. “The Opposition won’t only criticise where is necessary but will also come up with concrete proposals. We are proposing that the government should exempt restaurants from paying VAT till the end of March, one of a number of proposals we’re putting forward to ensure peace of mind for the tourism industry.”
Recently, Arrigo proposed that Air Malta should temporarily reduce all its flight costs by €25 to incentivise tourism to the island amidst a declining global appetite for travel. However, airline sources told Lovin Malta that this proposal is not being seen as economically feasible.
Malta confirmed its first COVID-19 case this morning, a 12-year-old Italian girl who lives on the island. She is believed to have contracted the virus during a recent family holiday to Trentino, Northern Italy, where several cases of the virus have been reported.
Health Minister Chris Fearne said the virus is being contained, in no small part because the patient and her family had followed the Health Department’s advice for all people returning from countries heavily impacted by the coronavirus to self-quarantine themselves for 15 days.