The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Second round of vouchers will be issued 'when Covid-19 cases decrease'

Shona Berger Thursday, 14 January 2021, 09:31 Last update: about 6 days ago

The second round of Covid-19 vouchers will be issued when the situation improves and the number of Covid-19 cases decrease sharply, the Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Business Silvio Schembri told the Malta Independent.

On Monday it was reported that the second round of Covid-19 vouchers will be issued after consultation is held with stakeholders, hinting that the issuing of vouchers has been delayed.

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It was planned that the vouchers would be issued by mid-January.

The Malta Independent asked the minister to provide more details about this delay, to provide a clearer picture of when the vouchers will be issued and to state whether bars and band clubs will be included in the second batch of vouchers.

The Economy Ministry said that in light of the current circumstances, the vouchers should not be issued at a time when the Covid-19 cases are at a high, but they should be issued at a more opportune time, when the number of cases is lower.

The ministry explained that the preparations for issuing the second round of Covid-19 vouchers, worth €100, for all those over the age of 16 are ready, and that this is part of government’s initiative to regenerate the economy and help the businesses affected most by the pandemic.

“Responsibility demands that we first see the situation improve and that the numbers decrease sharply,” Schembri said.

Economy Minister Schembri also highlighted that the Ministry is consulting with the health authorities and other stakeholders, so that the second round of vouchers are issued in due course, in the interest of all the people.

The Ministry added that the intention behind the voucher initiative is precisely to stimulate the economy with an injection of more than €45 million. “It will generate more jobs for the affected businesses and serve as an incentive for the people to enjoy a better quality of life. However, this should not be to the detriment of our health.“

“Therefore, this measure will be implemented at a better time, even when it will be possible for bars and clubs to open, so that they too will be able to benefit from this tax initiative,” the ministry said.

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