MHRA calls for 'balanced approach' in government response to COVID-19 spike

"Extreme positions will guarantee disastrous results" association warns

The MHRA has called for a balanced approach by government to tackling the spike in COVID-19 cases
The MHRA has called for a balanced approach by government to tackling the spike in COVID-19 cases

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has called for a “balanced approach” in the government’s response to a spike in coronavirus cases.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the MHRA said it noted with satisfaction that since the airport opened, the gradual tourism influx together with the Government vouchers scheme and the continuation of salary subsidies had “started to give hope for economic recovery and survival of businesses and employment related to the travel, hospitality and tourism sector.”

Thousands of jobs and hundreds of business across the country had been saved by the reopening of the airport and the economy, while the rates of infection were maintained at low levels, it said.

“MHRA considers this as a great success when one appreciates the uncertainty and the dynamic environment which the world is currently going through,” said the association in its statement.

“This did not happen by coincidence but is the outcome of collective, constructive and responsible work conducted by stakeholders namely the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Ministry for Health and all our members - hotels and restaurants- who probably are the major victims of this pandemic,” it said.

The MHRSA acknowledged that the difficulties “are far from over,” and that it was evident that the pandemic was still very much active at a global level.

“All stakeholders agree that there are no clear solutions but MHRA believes that the way forward should remain that of working on a balanced approach. Lessons are being learnt from our experience and the experience of others and accordingly the best approach remains that to keep applying reasonable protocols which ensure that life keeps going on whilst securing safety by mitigating risks and embracing sustainable economic conditions.”

Warning that “extreme positions will guarantee disastrous results,” the MHRA called upon the government to keep taking the necessary actions which reflect a balanced approach for the benefit of the public, employers and employees.

“The fact remains that if the tourism sector receives a blow, then the rest of the economy will suffer and many jobs, not only those directly related to tourism, will be put at high risk. We are in this together and the only way to get out of it successfully is by working hard together around a table governed by responsible discussion and decisions,” said the MHRA.

 

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