Malta cannot exist in a bubble. Depending on Malta’s domestic economy alone is not enough and it has been widely accepted that, in order not to die an economic death, Malta would emulate some other countries and learn to co-exist with Covid. As business representatives we have however always advised for a balanced approach and advocated for good regulation not deregulation.
Time and time again we have appealed to the authorities to discuss health standards so that certain activities could resume safely. We have sent plans to the authorities and requested discussions so that when the time comes these sectors would be ready to operate whilst keeping risk levels as low as possible.
Businesses are in favour of reasonable and necessary controls and standards and what is currently happening is harming businesses, our economy and endangering jobs more than any restriction could.
Before more damage is done, the authorities should enter into discussions with representatives of the private sector to devise standards that would lower risks for all planned activities. The wedding sector and the events sector need clarity and ability to future plan without the constant worry that the authorities will wait until it is too late and then try to make up for lost time by triggering informal lockdown.
What happened should have been predicted and was avoidable.
The second time round that our country will be fighting Covid, we request more clarity and a well-defined plan for the short, medium and long term. Businesses cannot keep on walking blind-folded, waiting for whatever solid ground they manage to find to crumble beneath their feet.
From where we stand, economic and health interests are not adversaries but they must find a way to communicate and together arrive to better solutions, sending one clear message.
A second wave of Covid will lead to devastation. This matter must be tackled professionally and with great urgency.