The Malta Independent 18 January 2022, Tuesday

Opposition asks Gauci on wearing of masks by MPs, receives no reply

Wednesday, 27 October 2021, 15:40 Last update: about 4 months ago

Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci has failed to say whether MPs are required to wear facemasks during Parliamentary sittings, despite being asked by the Opposition over a week ago.

Government MPs have been criticised for openly flouting the facemask rule in Parliament, most notably during the budget speech on 11 October. Only Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne donned his facemask on that occasion. In stark contrast, all Opposition MPs have been wearing their masks during Parliamentary sittings, except when speaking.

The Malta Independent spoke to PN Whip Robert Cutajar, asking whether there were clear guidelines on the wearing of masks by MPs. He said that, while the entire PN Parliamentary Group had chosen to always wear facemasks in the House, the Opposition had asked Gauci about the matter.

The Malta Independent on Sunday had reported how MPs had flaunted mask-wearing recommendations in Parliament throughout the Budget speech - much to the chagrin of people suhc as teachers and students who have been consigned to wearing masks at all times at schools. Even after that, government MPs continued to ignore the recommendations and not wear face-masks.

Cutajar said he had written to Professor Gauci on 18 October, on the day when Opposition Leader Bernard Grech gave his reaction to the budget, but the health chief has so far failed to reply.

Cutajar also noted that Gauci was present for the debate on the health ministry estimates earlier this week, during which she wore her mask. Most government MPs, however, did not wear theirs.

The wearing of masks is mandatory in all workplaces and any indoor public place, including Parliament. They can only be removed while eating or, in the case of the MPs, while public speaking.

Interviewed by Times of Malta last week, Charmaine Gauci failed to criticise MPs who failed to wear their mask. Gauci has often been criticised for remaining silent on Covid-19 issues related to political decisions and politicians.

  • don't miss