The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

TMID Editorial: Covid-19 - Mass events and crimes

Monday, 12 April 2021, 09:40 Last update: about 29 days ago

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been plenty of articles published about people in breach of Covid-19 regulations. The Hamrun football celebrations, the White Rocks party are some of the more infamous ones.

Just recently, another came to light. Video footage had emerged online of an illegal party, complete with a fireworks show, in breach of Covid-19 regulations. The videos, which were uploaded to Instagram, show people celebrating a birthday party at a villa outdoors. An influencer who was present later published an apology, as did another person who is the co-founder of ClubHouse Europe. Both were guests at the event.

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Malta is just starting to recover from its worst point in the pandemic. The vaccination strategy is working, fewer people are getting infected. This is not the time to put ourselves and others at risk, just for a party. More responsibility is sorely needed.

Malta has a plan to start reopening, and by following it, we can hopefully avoid a repeat of last year, where numbers soared after going down.

But aside from parties and such mass event, there are other forms of regulation breaches that have come to light.

The criminal underworld has also been at work during Covid, in the form of forged Covid negative tests.

The Malta Independent on Sunday revealed that 18 people have been caught trying to use fake Covid-19 test results to leave the country.

A police inspector speaking with this newsroom said that police have seen three distinct ways which people have employed to get fake test results. The most common means has been through a mobile application, where people can tamper with the document as they please and then try to use it to get through border control. 

Another means of acquiring the test is by simply purchasing it. The third means is that a fake Covid-19 test result would be acquired as part of a “package deal”, which would include a fake passport, flight tickets and any other documents one would require to travel.

The need for a covid negative test is required to travel to many countries.

The police are aware of all these methods and are working hard to stop the use of any such false documentation. Such people must be brought to justice.

Some of the people are acquiring such false test results in order to travel after they had gone for a swab test like anyone else, but had not received their result before the flight. Out of fear that they would lose their flight, they would opt to acquire a fake test result.

Such selfish motivation is completely unacceptable. If such a person is positive, they can easily infect others during their travels. One hopes that anyone falsifying such documents are brought to justice.

We must all remember that we are not only responsible for ourselves during this pandemic, but also others around us. Not just our family members, but the families of all others we come into contact with.

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