Eight Covid cases reported -Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 1 June 2021

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Updated 1330

Covid-19 Update: Malta recorded 8 Covid-19 cases and 4 recoveries on Tuesday. 2,026 swab tests were carried out as Malta reached 70 active cases. No new deaths were recorded.

Fifth of people eligible for €100 vouchers sign up: Around a fifth of people eligible for the €100 consumer vouchers have signed up so far. Only four days are left until people can register. Some 81,000 of the 450,000 people eligible for the digital consumer vouchers have signed up online. The government vouchers, are valued at €100, of which €60 can be used in restaurants and tourist establishments and €40 in retail and beauty outlets.

Malta-Gozo fast ferry kicks off: A fast ferry service between Mġarr in Gozo and Valletta started operating today. The ector was liberalised earlier this year and Virtu Ferries Ltd and Gozo Fast Ferry Ltd stepped in to offer a scheduled service. The service was formally inaugurated on Tuesday by Prime Minister Robert Abela, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg in the presence of two catamarans that will be used on the route.

Updated 0850 – Newspaper Review

L-Orizzont says that the Education Ministry is considering the removal of Benchmark examinations for children in the sixth year of school, favouring a system of ongoing assessment instead of end-of-year testing.

The Times leads with the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine certificates for fully vaccinated people. The downloadable passes allow holders to travel more easily, visit residents at homes of the elderly, and attend events.

The Independent quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who said that Malta will be the first country to introduce the digital vaccination pass. He said the system is compatible with certificates that will be issued by other EU members.

L-Orizzont says that 48 per cent of adults in Malta are now fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. The information was given by Health Minister Chris Fearne in a press conference announcing the vaccination certificate.

In-Nazzjon says that minister Carmelo Abela refused to confirm or deny whether he had access to the key cards when he was an employee of HSBC ten years ago. The minister said he will not discuss his private work in public.

The Independent says that 14 per cent of lessees are Maltese nationals while 83 per cent are from overseas. The annual residential rental study by the housing authority showed that more than 30,000 original contracts were registered in 2020.

The Times reports that former Allied Group Managing Director Adrian Hillman spent the weekend in prison despite being granted bail on Saturday. With the banks closed, Hillman was unable to transfer the €50 deposit and €100 personal guarantee ordered by the courts.

In-Nazzjon says that Prime Minister Robert Abela referred to a report by the Auditor General about the water and electricity bills issued by ARMS as a draft document. The paper asked Abela whether the government will refund consumers for overcharging.

Morning Briefing

920 Covid fines last week: A total of 920 fines were dished out during the past week in connection with breaches of Covid-19 regulations. The majority of fines, 685, were handed to persons not wearing a mask whie 71 others were in groups in breach of gatherings. There were also 10 fines connected with entities breaches. Six other persons breached quarantine regulations and 148 were found in larger gatherings in private residences.

Unemployment stable – NSO: Figures by the National Statistics Office show a total unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent in April, equal to the previous month but down from 4.4 per cent recorded in April last year. The total level of unemployment stood at 10,386, slightly below 10,403 registered in March and the fourth consecutive decrease in 2021.

The rate of youth unemployment fell by 0.7 percentage points month on month, closing at 8.4 per cent. Unemployment among the adult population increased from 3.2 per cent in March to 3.3 per cent in April.

Malta launches vaccine certificate: Malta has formally launched its vaccine certificate, which will allow persons who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to tavel and attend certain activities. The certificates will be available on certifikatvaccin.gov.mt for Maltese Identity Card holders and can be generated 14 days from the date a person is fully vaccinated.

Covid-19 Update: Two new cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday, while four persons recovered. 1,772 swab tests were carried out on Sunday. The active case tally stands at 66, while the death count remains unchanged at 419.