Update 1630 h
Misguided and erroneous decisions taken by government are the cause of travel restrictions to Malta, the Malta Employers’ Association said, as reported by MaltaToday.
The MEA accused the government of opting for “selective” consultation with lobbyists, which resulted in “a misguided repositioning of Malta’s tourism product”
This has caused hotels to record massive cancellations and the catering industry fearing the worst upon expiration of government vouchers.
“Many companies are losing business, and families their livelihood because of the capricious lobbying of a few operators who stood to gain from turning Malta into a party island,” the MEA said.
The colour codes for several countries and regions in Belgium’s travel zones system on the Foreign Affairs’ website will be adapted again on Friday afternoon, the Crisis Centre announced during a press conference on Friday.
Brussels Times reports that “The infection rate there is high and may become even higher in the next few days. For Romania, most regions will turn red. In Spain, an increasing number of regions are turning red or orange as well, especially in the north of the country,” he said, adding that the situation is evolving rapidly. Malta will also be considered a red zone.
Van Gucht stressed that the health authorities advise against travelling to an orange zone, and forbid going to go to a red zone.
Update 1330 h
There were 31 new Covid-19 cases reported in Malta in the past 24 hours, following another record 2,135 swab tests carried. There were also 54 recovered cases. 44 of these recoveries were migrant cases. The total number of recoveries were 762. The total number of active cases is 505.
The Times quotes Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci warning that vulnerable people to remain vigilant against COVID-19 because of an increase in the number of cases among the elderly.
Gauci was speaking during her weekly update on the coronavirus situation in Malta, as authorities deal with a recent surge in the number of active cases.
While most patients are experiencing mild symptoms, she said that COVID-19 cases were beginning to spill from young people to older, and more vulnerable, patients.
She said: “The numbers are still low but everything shows that the elderly and the vulnerable must protect themselves because even the elderly are now getting it. That is something that worries us since this could lead to complications.”
43-year-old Austrian woman dies at sea in San Blas, Gozo
The body of a 43-year-old Austrian woman was recovered from the sea at San Blas Bay in Gozo. The police were informed that people had spotted a body in the water at around 9am on Friday.
Yorgen Fenech on hunger strike
The man accused of masterminding the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, has begun a hunger strike to protest the allocation of two new inmates to his cell, allegedly without being kept in quarantine.
Fenech, who has one kidney, is claiming the new inmates pose a health risk to him and had not been sufficiently quarantined, a source close to the family told MaltaToday.
The British government announced that data showed that the UK needed to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates down.
Those arriving in the UK after 0400h BST of Saturday from these destinations, will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Malta to leave at this time. You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.
Denmark and Norway have also joined the list of countries imposing restrictions on Malta.
Yesterday, the Health Department reported 55 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, resulting from just under 2,500 tests. Only 12 cases are related to previous cases.
With 13 persons recovered, there are now 528 active cases.
Premier League club Birkirkara FC has joined Balzan, Santa Venera and Naxxar in reporting a case within its ranks.
University to resume lectures
The University of Malta (UM) and Ġ.F. Abela Junior College (JC) intend to resume lectures in October for the next scholastic year provided that no directives are issued by health authorities, according to The Malta Independent.
The Malta Environmental Health Officers Association has urged the government to ban mass events, close clubs and bars, and implement mandatory swab tests on incoming travellers as soon as possible.
Environmental Health Officers have been serving as important frontliners by carrying out inspections on those who are in quarantine or positive cases to ensure that they are in isolating at home as they should be.