Maltese businesses to reopen but unemployment has increased
COVID-19, Maltese businesses to reopen but unemployment has increased As from today restaurants, hairdressers, barbershops, nail and beauty salons can re-open as announced early this week by the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela after having closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, Malta has registered a total of 469 recoveries from coronavirus and 125 cases are still active. In the last 48 hours 16 new cases were confirmed by the health authorities. Meanwhile, official statistics, confirmed an increase in registered unemployed people. In April, the number of persons registering for work stood at 3,979, increasing by 2,231 persons when compared to the same month in 2019. The National Statistics Office stated that these statistics should be interpreted in context to the unprecedented developments and restrictions related to COVID-19. According to the statistics registered unemployment levels increased across all age groups. With the re-opening of a number of businesses, the public will have to follow guidelines set by the Maltese authorities. Even re-opened businesses will have to adhere to the guidelines and regulations issued by the government so as to avoid the spread of coronavirus. The Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci explained that the relaxation of measures is being done based on the risk assessment conducted by the health authorities to determine what is deemed safe and what is not. At least 157 catering establishments are ready to reopen as from today. The Malta Tourism Authority said that these establishments asked the authority to send inspectors to certify that they are complying with COVID-19-related measures. Those certified to be compliant will be issued with a COVID-19 compliance sticker. Also, restaurants failing to follow the new regulations as they open again will have their licence to operate revoked. The President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) Tony Zahra still believes that the airport should open, A few days ago, the MHRA appealed to the Maltese Government to open the airport, because otherwise, the tourism sector will continue to suffer and thousands of people could lose their jobs. Meanwhile, as from today, funeral masses can now be celebrated at the cemetery, on the parvis of the church or else inside the church with a limited number of people. The churches in which a funeral mass can be celebrated need to be larger than 500 square meters and only 20 people will be allowed to enter, however, it is being recommended that the mass is to be celebrated outdoors. Once the funeral mass is over the church will be disinfected.