Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has warned that the new rules banning all unvaccinated people from travelling to Malta stemmed from the government’s desire to placate social media outrage.
“Consistency. Clarity. Stability. These must be the bedrock of any Government. It is what gives confidence to investors, to businesses, to different economic sectors, to all of us. We rely on Government to set the rules within those parameters,” Metsola said.
“Serious administrations do not announce sweeping changes in response to rising virus cases (caused by their lack of any planning) that is simply aimed at influencing immediate headlines and placating social media outrage, only to seemingly backtrack after 48 hours and create total confusion where clear messaging is essential.”
Her reference to a ‘backtrack’ refers to the government’s clarification that Maltese residents who were already overseas when the new travel restrictions were announced last week will be able to return home by presenting a negative PCR test.
However, Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed yesterday that the new rules banning unvaccinated people from travelling to Malta will kick in tomorrow as planned.
Shadow Health Minister Stephen Spiteri has come out in favour of the new rules while the PN has expressed more scepticism – arguing that non-vaccinated travellers should be allowed to travel to Malta so long as they present a negative PCR test and are tested again at the airport
Metsola warned that the new rules have caused confusion and chaos among several people and the government’s lack of clarity isn’t helping the situation.
“I have spent the last days on the phone with tearful parents worried about their children coming home to Malta; with businesses fearful they will have close down again; with tourists exasperated at the mixed messages Government is sending out; with Maltese abroad who have wasted so much time and money on lost bookings, missed flights, and re-routing. They are not being given any answers,” she said.
“We need clear rules, clear timelines, clear thinking from Government, not the shambles and chaos that they’ve allowed to take over.”
“Health and safety of all must remain our top priority. We need measures that are proportionate and that are non-discriminatory; we need measures that allow businesses to operate and keep people safe at the same time.”
“We need more than the blind panic we have now. There are solutions, get everyone around the table and hammer out a clear strategy today before tomorrow.”