News that Malta will introduce an amnesty mechanism for people who received fines for breaching COVID-19 restrictions has generated a great deal of controversy amongst the Maltese people.
Over the past two months, Malta was subject to a number of strict COVID-19 measures which included fines for those who met in groups or breached quarantine. Many made sacrifices and were obliged to follow restrictions in order to help mitigate the spread of the virus, but those who didn’t and got caught now have a chance of walking away scot-free.
Everyone from healthcare workers to police officers chimed in on Abela’s controversial decision in what appears to be a united front born out of anger.
Healthcare workers felt personally disrespected for the hard work they’ve put in over the past few months…
…while the Malta Police Association and Police Officers Union felt it was disprespectful to all those officers who put their lives at risk to enforce the COVID-19 measures.
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia chimed in on the “populist” decision while thanking frontliners and law-abiding citizens for their sacrifices.
Whilst the PM wants to be populist, I want to thank all the medical frontliners, police & law abiding citizens, who through sacrifice & selfless acts have helped the country pull through one of the worst pandemics.
Your hard work & efforts are commendable. #MyMalta????????
— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) May 31, 2020
Former Alternativa Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola has shown his support for the Malta Police Union while also taking aim at the Prime Minister.
Artist Steve Bonello provided his interpretation of Robert Abela’s interview this morning…
And a dance studio reasons that if the government can afford to refund fines, then they can afford to pay the rent of her soon-to-be bankrupt business which remained shut… as per the rules.
But it isn’t just organisations, politicians or unions that are visibly upset but the general public too including elderlies and the most vulnerable of society…
However, the amnesty mechanism doesn’t apply to everyone who got caught breaking COVID-1i restrictions, with Abela referencing incidents when groups got fined for going to the cemetery to visit a loved one.