[WATCH] Restarting of economy depends on health authorities' go ahead - Silvio Schembri

Financial aid for businesses will continue as government awaits all clear to gradually restart economy, Silvio Schembri says

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri gave an update on the government's COVID-19 measures on Friday
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri gave an update on the government's COVID-19 measures on Friday

The government is waiting for the go ahead from health authorities to launch its COVID-19 plan "Phase 2", which will see the gradual restarting of the economy, the Economy Minister said.

Silvio Schembri said that finanical aid to businesses would not be cut off abrubtly, but that the government wanted to commence the reopening of businesses as soon as possible.

"The general principle is that we want a phasing in of certain business operations and a phasing out of financial assistance. We need a balance between the two. Aid cannot be suddenly stopped, since business won't return back to normal immediately," Schembri said on Friday.

Schembri said that, to date, 83,000 jobs had been safeguarded thanks to the government's measures, with around €10.5 million in wage supplements having been already disbursed to those enjoying full wage supplements.

Addressing the press confernece, Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said that never in Malta's history had such a vast financial aid scheme been applied to so many people.

He said that around 200 applications for aid were still being received each day, a reduced rate from the initial number which were coming in a few weeks ago.

Farrugia also underlined that around 1,600 applications were still pending since Malta Enterprise had not received replies to emails asking for further information. He urged such businesses to reply in order for the applications to proceed.

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