Dogs allowed to enter restaurants under COVID-19 guidelines, MTA clarifies

Malta Tourism Association says guidelines for the reopening of Catering Establishments make no reference whatsoever to dogs being banned from entering premises

The Malta Tourism Association has clarified dogs are allowed to enter restaurants under COVID-19 regulation given to restaurants.

The MTA was reacting to media reports after the Malta Society for the Protection of Animals (MSPCA) said that it had confirmed with the authority that if establishments are to have a COVID-19 conformity badge, as according to the health department’s guidelines, dogs could not be allowed on premises.

“MTA’s protocols that serve as guidelines for the reopening of Catering Establishments make no reference whatsoever to dogs being banned from entering the premises,” a statement read.

In parliament, Nationalist Party MP Kevin Cutajar also raised the issue of guide dogs not be allowed admission into restaurants due to COIVD-19 guidelines.

Social Affairs minister Michael Falzon said no such regulation is in place, and called on Cutajar to forward any cases so they can be investigated.

Malta’s anti-discrimination legislation allows the presence of guide dogs for the blind in public/private buildings or facilities.

The law specifically lays down: “A person shall be discriminating against another person on the grounds of disability if he treats or proposes to treat such other person less favourably than he treats or would treat others who do not have such a disability because of the fact that such other person is accompanied by or possesses any assistive means that is used by such other person or because of any matter related to that fact, whether or not it is the practice to treat in such less favourable manner any person who is accompanied by or is in possession of such assistive means.”

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