Employers warn COVID quarantine for vaccinated people threatens productivity

The Malta Chamber of Commerce says it is ‘totally unreasonable’ to place fully vaccinated secondary contacts of COVID-19 cases into quarantine • Policy threatens productivity

Chamber of Commerce President Marisa Xuereb
Chamber of Commerce President Marisa Xuereb

Blanket quarantine measures that fail to distinguish between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are “totally unreasonable” and threatening productivity, employers have warned.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce said that with more than 81% of the adult population fully vaccinated it is unreasonable to put secondary contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases under a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The organisation urged the health authorities to rethink the existing quarantine measures concerning fully vaccinated people.

Sounding a dire warning on the impact this is having on productivity, especially in work places where remote working is not possible, the Chamber called for a more pragmatic approach.

Malta is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases that coincided with the lifting of travel restrictions. The health authorities subsequently introduced a 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated travellers to Malta and shut English language schools.

The Chamber said it is aware of entire households of fully vaccinated people which have been put into 14-day mandatory quarantine because one of their children, who has already taken the first jab attends a summer school programme where a child has tested positive.

“If we really believe that vaccines break the chain of contagion, we need to be pragmatic and shouldn't be placing fully vaccinated secondary contacts in quarantine,” Chamber President Marisa Xuereb said.

She noted that quarantine letters were being issued to all members of a household without specifying personal identification. “Clearly, no checks are being made on whether the members of that household are vaccinated or not.”

“The Malta Chamber is seriously concerned with this situation, which is greatly reducing the productive capacity of business operators.  On the one hand employers are being asked to encourage their employees to get vaccinated when on the other hand the authorities are not treating fully vaccinated employees any differently from those who are still refusing to be vaccinated,” she said.

The Chamber urged the authorities not to take unreasonable decisions and knee-jerk reactions.