Cabinet undecided on relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions

Abela told in Cabinet that opening “safe corridors” for tourist routes could introduce unknown variables

Health Minister Chris Fearne (left) with Prime Minister Robert Abela (centre) and Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci (right)
Health Minister Chris Fearne (left) with Prime Minister Robert Abela (centre) and Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci (right)

The Maltese government has yet to decide when and what restrictions are to be lifted as a spike in cases following the relaxation of measures has generated renewed debate on what strategy to take to prop up a weakened economy. 

All Cabinet ministers are now in agreement that some restrictions can be loosed, but health authorities have warned Prime Minister Robert Abela that lifting more than one restriction at a time could introduce unknown variables, and lead to an unexpected spike. 

A source privy to Cabinet talks told MaltaToday that talks on opening “safe corridors” for tourist routes, recently mooted by tourism minister Julia Farrugia, was jumping the gun. 

“The PM was told that we cannot at this stage raise expectations too high. Opening of airports is not on the cards. The virus is still in the community. But the health experts know what to do next. It is now a question of timing. However, if the number of infections increase – as it seems they have – the first victims are going to be our elderly.” 

Public Health Superintendent Prof. Charmaine Gauci yesterday refused to give any indication of what she was advising the Maltese government on proposals of tourism safe corridors. 

“It is something that has to be discussed but it does not mean the situation will change any time soon.” 

The higher number of asymptomatic cases reflected the growing number of daily tests being carried out, she said.

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