Restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 were “too aggressive” in hindsight, Prime Minister Robert Abela has said.
“The measures we took were necessary back then, at a time when we lacked the advantage of knowing how to best contain the pandemic while inflicting the least possible damage on the economy,” Abela said at a press conference this evening.
“It was the first time we experienced something like this and, with the benefit of hindsight, one can say the measures we took were too aggressive.”
France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex recently ruled out imposing another national lockdown in the possible eventuality of a second wave of COVID-19 cases this autumn, while UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he does not think another lockdown will be imposed.
Abela said this train of thought was the general consensus of among European leaders who convened in Brussels over the weekend to trash out the details of the EU’s budget for the next seven years, as well as a COVID-19 recovery fund.
“I discussed this issue with EU leaders over the weekend and everyone basically had the same conclusion; we didn’t know what was about to hit us and we implemented measures which were perhaps too aggressive.”
He said he wants to look to the future with a bright perspective, rather than postulate on whether or not a second outbreak of the virus will take place.
Malta imposed several restrictions earlier this year, closing down schools, restaurants, bars, gyms and non-essential outlets, banning travel to and from the island, and imposing fines on people who gathered in public in small groups.
Abela said he is confident the health authorities will be able to maintain the current situation, one where COVID-19 cases have dropped to tiny figures and all restrictions have been lifted.
“I advise everyone to follow health precautions so we can say that Malta is a model country on how to control the pandemic, from a medical and economic factor, and from the fact that we’ve returned to normality.”