The Malta Independent 8 March 2021, Monday

MHRA speaks out against calls for a curfew; stresses importance of enforcement

Friday, 22 January 2021, 14:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has come out against the idea of a curfew, arguing that such a measure is draconian, unnecessary, and counterproductive if enforcement is adequately applied to all the industry.

The Medical Association of Malta on Friday said that it is seriously preoccupied with persistent high daily numbers of Covid patients which average above 150 a day, and called for a 9pm curfew from Friday to Sunday for a period of at least two weeks, to be imposed.

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The MHRA said that Curfews "will kill off the restaurant business as well as the business of other places that operate in the evening. The relevant authorities should and must ensure that those who do not abide by the rules are sanctioned, including by closing establishments if necessary. The introduction of any form of curfew will not only serve to create further hardship on the hospitality sector in particular hotels and restaurants, but more significantly will not lead to achieve the desired objectives, that of better managing the spread of COVID-19 amongst the population."

The MHRA believes that curfews will push for irregular activities to go underground, so the Associations called upon the government to ensure that those responsible for enforcement are adequately resourced, in order for them to be more effective in enforcing the rules that are already in place, not only with restaurants but also in private gatherings.

The MHRA remarked that those who booked self-catering units such as farmhouses or apartments for weekend breaks will not be affected by a curfew as they will still carry-on partying indoors in defiance of social distancing protocols.

"The solution therefore lies with effective enforcement of protocols in public places and in self-catering units." Towards this end, the MHRA calls upon the authorities to ensure that self-catering units are not to cater for more than 4 persons and fines should be imposed on lessors and lessees who flout the rules. Anyone who flouts the Covid-19 protocols and catering license rules must be held accountable. The Authorities need to send a clear message that they mean business."

The MHRA said it has been in constant contact with the health authorities and is informed that matters in hospitals are under control.


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