Dog lovers are barking mad over COVID rules that bar pets in restaurants

MSPCA says COVID-19 health guidelines preventing restaurants from allowing in dogs, should be reversed

Dog lovers are up in arms over health guidelines prohibiting the entry of dogs into shops or restaurants.

The Malta Society for the Protection of Animals said it had confirmed with the Malta Tourism Authority that dogs cannot be allowed on premises if establishments are to have a COVID-19 conformity badge, as according to the health department’s guidelines.

“There is no doubt that this is a step in the wrong direction and MSPCA believes that this policy should be immediately reversed,” MSPCA fundraising manager Mary Cassar Torregiani said.

The MSPCA has asked both the MTA and the health ministry to reverse what it said was an “animal un-friendly decision” and allow catering establishments to be enjoyed by all.

“The World Health Organisation, which is constantly referred to by the local health authorities actually states that ‘there is no evidence that these animals can transmit the disease to humans and spread COVID-19’,” Cassar Torregiani said.

“There is no reason why dogs should not be allowed in those restaurants and establishments that are willing to accept them along with their human companions. The fact that the state is imposing this prerequisite for certification is imposing a restriction even on those establishments that have built a positive reputation for being pet friendly venues.”

Cassar Torregiani said it was ironic that the State had removed the need to carry a face mask inside a catering establishment, when the WHO states that COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. “It seems that dogs have been wrongly classified along with cigarettes which have also been banned from catering establishments,” Cassar Torregiani said.

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