[WATCH] Elderly in homes to recieve €100 in direct contribution instead of government COVID vouchers

Elderly people in care homes will receive €100, deposited in their bank account, or through a government cheque, in a second round of vouchers aimed at kickstarting businesses badly hit by COVID-19

Elderly people in public and private care residences will not be receiving government's second round of COVID-19 vouchers announced last week but will instead be receiving €100 directly in their bank account or as a cheque, depending on how they currently receive their governnment pension.

In this second round of vouchers issued in a bid to incentivise customer spending and provide assistance to businesses badly hit by COVID-19, the government opted to give a direct contribution to residents of care homes. 

Schembri said that the government had recognised that many care home residents had not made use of the vouchers in the first scheme last year and that they would probably prefer to spend the money on other goods and services.

“Because of this, elderly residents of public and private care homes will not be receiving the vouchers but will instead receive €100 in their bank account or by government cheque,” he said.

This money will be deposited in teh accounts or sent  by cheque at the end of June.

In this second scheme, government introduced a digital version that can be easily downloaded onto a smartphone.

Thus far, more than 81,103 digital versions of the vouchers have been downloaded, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said on Tuesday.

Of those, 72% used their existing E-ID to download the app, while the remaining 28% used personal identification to register on the wallet.vouchersmimcol.com website.

Residents of Malta, including foreigners with Maltese residency, can download the digital vouchers until midnight on Friday this week. Those who choose not to will receive printed vouchers by mail starting on 7 June.

66% of all downloads so far where by Maltese citizens, while foreigners with a valid residence permit accounted for the remaining 34%.

The government has been encouraging people to download the digital vouchers instead of waiting to receive the printed vouchers in the post.

“There are advantages to downloading the digital vouchers,” Schembri said. “Digital vouchers cannot be lost, and even if you lose or change your phone, you can log in into the website on a new phone and still access the vouchers. But if you lose or damage the printed vouchers, they cannot be replaced.”

Additionally, digital vouchers can be easily transferred to someone else and can be used immediately from Monday, when the scheme comes into play, without having to wait to receive the printed vouchers by post.