The Malta Independent 9 August 2020, Sunday

A first: Gozo Minister refuses to publish Gozo Channel figures as they are ‘commercially sensitive’

Giulia Magri Monday, 13 July 2020, 13:25 Last update: about 27 days ago

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri has refused to publish the number of people crossing over from Malta to Gozo between February and June of this year and the same months of last year because “the figures are commercially sensitive.”

On Monday, PN MP Chris Said asked a parliamentary question to the Gozo Minister on how many passengers and vehicles used the Gozo Channel in the months February, March, April, May and June 2019 and 2020.

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Camilleri simply replied that due to travel restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, the number of passengers and vehicles decreased in the past few months. He said that the exact figures are of a commercially sensitive nature.

Yet, after a long weekend, which included a public holiday on Monday, just two weeks ago the Gozo Ministry did not hesitate to publish that 35,000 people crossed over from Malta to Gozo.

The Ministry also included that 14,500 vehicles crossed the channel between Friday and Tuesday.

Indeed, the Gozo Ministry has never had any issue with releasing the figures of how many passengers made the crossing to the sister island. This is the first time that the release of such figures has been rejected on the basis that the numbers are “commercially sensitive”.

Travel between Malta and Gozo had been restricted during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with non-essential travel stopped for five weeks before being lifted at the beginning of May.

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