Less restrictions for bars and restaurants allowing only vaccinated people / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 28 September 2021

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Latest Update- News Portal Briefing

Times of Malta says that an injured migrant worker was dumped on the side of the road after falling two storeys from a construction site, according to a woman who stopped to help him.

MaltaToday reports that the compilation of evidence in the money laundering case against Josette Schembri Vella, former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri’s wife, stalled this morning after one of the prosecuting inspectors was abroad.

Newsbook reports Yorgen Fenech must desist from making further “frivolous and vexatious” allegations, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà said in a counter judicial protest on Tuesday.

TVM says that Education Minister Justyne Caruana has given assurance that next Wednesday students in state schools will have the teachers they need including those who receive specialized services.

Updated 1545

The Incident of the Injured Worker in Selmun is Obscene – Malta Employers’ Association

The Malta Employers’ Association has condemned the incident whereby an injured construction worker was dumped on the side of a road instead of being taken to hospital. The Association stated that such abusive actions are unacceptable in a civilised society. It appealed to the police to conduct the necessary investigations to establish what happened and to bring anyone responsible to justice.

Updated 1515 – Less restrictions for bars and restaurants allowing only vaccinated people

Bars and restaurants will have their restrictions eased if they restrict entrance to COVID-19 vaccine certificate holders as of October 9. This includes allowing up to eight people at a table, with such tables possibly being 1.5m apart, rather than two. Opening hours will be extended by an hour to 3am while customers can served at bars with Perspex.

Updated 1300 Mid-Day Briefing

Covid-19 Update: There were 16 new cases and 37 new recoveries. 13 patients are currently being treated in Mater Dei, 3 of whom are in the ITU.

Man claims €10,000 vanished from inside prison: A magistrate is investigating the alleged disappearance of €10,000 from inside prison. The court heard how the man said the money was taken from him as he entered prison but then vanished without a trace. Ali Muuse Igaale, from Somalia, was arrested after he was caught with €160,000 in undeclared cash at the airport. He claims that he handed the €10,000 to a prison officer when he was taken to prison, but when he reclaimed the cash, he was told that the facility
had no record of it. Police constable Jarrod Vella told the court that he had seen Igaale with the cash inside the prison, as well as him entering the prison with a brown envelope full of cash.

ERA demands full impact assessment for massive Naxxar project: The Environment and Resources Authority has demanded a full impact assessment of a big development proposed in the parking lot of the old trade fair grounds in Naxxar. ERA made the request after the developers submitted fresh plans for the massive project, taking the form of two oval towers of eight and 10 floors instead of the original five bottle-like structures. The ERA had initially concluded that no EIA was required for the first
design because the “impacts are unlikely to be significant”

Updated 0840 – Newspaper Review

The Times quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela calling for a revision of electoral Districts, hinting that their number may be reduced but stopping short of revealing any government proposals on the issue.

In-Nazzjon quotes a PN statement warning that lack of planning by the government ahead of the new school year will have a negative effect on students and educators. The party said that special support services are being dismantled to make up for a shortage of teachers.

The Independent follows a Cabinet meeting held at the Ta’ Qali basketball pavilion on Monday, discussing the government’s plan for sports. The Prime Minister announced a €20 million investment to develop a motorsport racetrack in Ħal Far.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela that plans for a Ħal Far racetrack will not encroach on ODZ areas and will keep away from residential zones. Abela said that motorsport enthusiasts will enjoy a world-class facility.

The Times says that an underground corridor at Mater Dei hospital is being used as a temporary mortuary following a malfunction with the elevator connecting to the morgue. Staff and patients expressed shock that corpses had been left unattended in body bags.

The Independent says that Education Minister denied claims by the union of teachers that some 150 primary classrooms are without a teacher. Earlier, union representatives accused the ministry of unpreparedness ahead of the new scholastic year.

L-Orizzont says that 45 new classrooms have been introduced this scholastic year to abide by health authority directives. Addressing a press conference, Education Minister Justyne Caruana dismissed concerns about a shortage in teachers.  

In-Nazzjon covers a press conference by the union of teachers criticising the education ministry for filing a court injunction to block union directives issued to its members. Union president Marco Bonnici said that the ministry is trying to silence teachers.

Morning Briefing

PM touts electoral reform again

Prime Minister Robert Abela on Monday argued in favour of the need of a discussion on reforming electoral districts, indicating his preference towards reducing their number. Speaking to The Times of Malta Abela argued that “societies evolve, so structures and rules need to evolve accordingly to better reflect them”. Questioned further about his ideas, he said that “I do have my own thoughts about this, but I don’t want to voice them now because I would be killing the discussion,” he said. Both PL and PN representatives have in recent months made an argument in favour of electoral reform, with one possible consideration being the inclusion of a national threshold allowing a third party to make it to Parliament if it garners enough vote on a national level.

Scheme to support inclusivity launched

Malta Enterprise launched a new scheme to assist Maltese enterprises to have a more accessible workplace and to invest further in the abilities of the employees. Through a consultation with the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), this scheme will cover up to 90% of the investment done by the business, with a maximum of €10,000. This scheme is also open for self-employed businesses.

This scheme covers investment such as Machinery – to strengthen the functional abilities of individuals with disabilities such as motion wheels and alarms and electric systems; Minor structural changes within the company building to give better access – which needs to be certified by an architect according to standards to guarantee access; Technology to assist visually impaired individuals to read, or to magnify writings, and other technologies to offer better autonomy; Resurfacing spaces within the company which are resistant for wheelchair use and other spaces to assist visually impaired people to move from one space to another and Accessible formats such as Braille, and recorded messages to inform on the health and security within the place of work. Employees will be given professional training to use this technology.

PN calls for respect of teachers dignity

The Nationalist Party said that the Government should protect the dignity of teachers and refrains from avoiding dialogue with them by filing an inhibition warrant. In a press briefing, MP Clyde Puli, Education Shadow Minister highlighted the plight of teachers at the beginning of the new scholastic year, arguing that government’s heavy-handed tactics will not provide solutions. The PN said that it will present new proposals which will revive respect to teachers, including with higher salaries to government, church and private teachers. This will be accompanied by further investment in technology and alternative energy in schools.

Covid-19 Update: 13 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday, while 43 recovered, lowering the active case tally to 391. 17 patients remain in hospital, four of whom in ITU.

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