Cruise liner denied entry as passenger tests positive for Covid – Malta News Briefing – Monday 7 June 2021

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Update 20:19 – Headlines Update

A cruise ship on its way to Malta had to make last minutes changes after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19.  On Monday, the MSC Seaside, which was meant to stop here in transit, was not permitted to enter the Valletta Cruise Port. It had left Syracuse, Sicily, on June 1 for a seven-day tour around the Mediterranean. Times of Malta

A 42-year-old man has been grievously injured after a fight broke out in Mellieha on Monday afternoon. The incident happened at around 12:15 pm in Triq il-Marfa. MaltaToday

Solitary confinement in prison systems should be abolished as it goes against fundamental human rights and causes permanent damage to the persons that have to go through it, the dean of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing said. Professor Andrew Azzopardi called for a complete reform in this system, saying that solitary confinement is “torture” and that no benefit stems out of this oppressive practice. Malta Independent

A Togolese man was fined on the spot after he was found to be carrying €11,365 in undeclared cash while boarding an Istanbul-bound flight on Monday morning, in what marks the 22nd such interception by Customs this year. Customs said that the man, who was travelling to Ghana, was selected by its Anti-Money Laundering Team for a currency check and asked how much cash he was carrying.

Update 1350 – Following Malta Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement of zero new cases, WHO’s regional director Hans Kluge congratulated Malta while stressing on the importance of continued discipline without taking measures that jeopardise any of the sacrifices done.

Updated 1235 – Health authorities have confirmed that no new cases were identified while two patients recovered. Active cases stand at 72.

Updated 0900

Malta will be reporting no new COVID-19 cases for the first time in 11 months. Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed this on Twitter this morning. “Today is the first day with zero cases since last summer,” Fearne wrote.

“It is essential that we remain disciplined and responsible,” he added.

Newspaper Review

The Independent says that the tourism authority has granted Paradise Exiles in Sliema a permit to set up tables on the shore, just opposite the establishment. The authority said that the permit is valid until the end of June.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that a PN government would shut down Mount Carmel hospital and open a new hospital. He said that mental health needs to be given the quality care it deserves.

L-Orizzont speaks to nutritionist Susan Borg who observed that many people were more careful of their eating habits during the lockdown this year. She said that some of her clients took the opportunity to improve their diets.

The Times reveals an agreement between the government and the Marsascala Sports Club to build a new waterpolo pitch funded by public money after the original site was handed over to Sadeen Group in 2016.

The Independent reports that the Covid-19 government vouchers can start being redeemed from today. People over 16 years are entitled to €100 worth of coupons that can be spent at restaurants, accommodation services as well as retail shops and cultural centres.

In-Nazzjon covers an interview with PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that the business community is facing uncertainty and pledged that a Nationalist government would review the tax system to ensure a level playing field for local companies.

The Times says that the process to appoint a head at the Asset Recovery Bureau has stalled as the government expressed reservations over the person nominated by the body. The Bureau has been without a CEO for five months.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who welcomed the positive predictions by credit agency Fitch Ratings. Abela said that the government is credible and delivers.

Morning Briefing

Social reforms leading to tangible progress – PM

PM Robert Abela said on Sunday that the number of people requesting social housing went down by almost half in just five years thanks to successful social reforms. He said that there are some 1,900 people waiting to be assigned social accommodation. “We have registered significant success here and that is because of the government’s policy of investing in people and social services. We don’t want people to be dependant on government hand-outs but to be able to pick themselves up,” he said.

PN says Malta failed to make UK green list due to Govt delay

Malta was left out of the UK’s green list of safe travel destinations was a result of the government failing to take decisions earlier in the year, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday. “When the numbers were high, we had called for action. Had the government taken decisions and listened to our pleas earlier, we would have reduced numbers earlier and so we would have also been able to promote Malta as a safe destination earlier,” Grech said.

More efforts on AML required despite progress – FATF

Despite Malta’s successful completion of the Moneyval evaluation on anti-money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force has asked for a number of reforms and improvements that the country still needs to enact in the fight against financial crime. The requests relate to low seizures of criminal assets, lax rules on lawyers providing fiduciary services, and the “low quality” of suspicious transaction reports being handed to the authorities by banks and other entities.

Covid Update

The number of active cases in Malta is 74, after three new cases were registered on Sunday. There were 5 recoveries reported.

CDE News