Curfews 'draconian, unnecessary, and counterproductive,' MHRA says

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association says authorities should be targeting self-catering units such as farmhouses to combat the spread of COVID-19 rather then opt for a curfew

The MHRA says that a curfew will only cause more hardship to the hospitality sector and push irregular activities underground
The MHRA says that a curfew will only cause more hardship to the hospitality sector and push irregular activities underground

If enforcement is adequately applied, curfews are "draconian, unnecessary, and counterproductive", the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said.

MHRA was reacting to a proposal by the Medical Association of Malta for a weekend curfew and stronger enforcement of measures.

“Curfews will kill off the business of all restaurants or other places that operate in the evening. The relevant authorities should and must ensure that those who do not abide by the rules are sanctioned, including the closure of establishments if necessary,” the association said.

MHRA said the introduction of any form of curfew would only serve to create further hardship on the hospitality sector in particular hotels and restaurants, but more significantly will not curb the spread of COVID-19.

“MHRA believes that curfews will push for irregular activities to go underground, so the associations calls upon government to ensure that those responsible for enforcement are adequately resourced to be more effective in enforcing the rules that are already in place, not only with restaurants but also in private gatherings,” the MHRA said.

The association added that those who booked self-catering units such as farmhouses or apartments for weekend breaks will not be affected by a curfew as they will still continue to party indoors in defiance of social distancing protocols. “The solution, therefore, lies with effective enforcement of protocols in public places and in self-catering units,” the association said.

MHRA has called upon authorities to ensure that self-catering units are not to cater for more than four persons and fines should be imposed on lessors and lessees too who flout the rules.

READ MORE: Weekend curfew 'decision for health authorities', Philip Fenech says

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