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Malta

COVID-19 Update:

Cases: 23,588

Deaths: 325

Recovered: 20,135

Vaccinated: 89.946

Malta has broken through another record number of daily COVID-19 cases, reporting 362 new cases on Thursday. A further four deaths were reported at Mater Dei.

Economy:

New measures as COVID cases surge, in a reaction to a record number of COVID-19 cases, the prime minister told a press conference that bars and clubs will remain closed and the fine for those breaking the rules will be doubled to €6,000.

The prime minister announced that:

  • Restaurants and other catering establishments to close can only offer take-aways.
  • Planned events in private houses will be limited to a maximum of four households.
  • Mass organised events have been banned, except for weddings and religious events.
  • Contact sport for children younger than 16 has been banned.
  • The directive for public workers to work from home when possible will be re-introduced. The private sector is being encouraged to follow suit.
  • Wage supplement extended to June.
  • €100 fine for every person caught in breach of the law.
  • Measures will apply until April 11.

It said measures should be escalated during the Easter holidays, including banning family gatherings, banning holiday travel to Gozo and enforcement of strict measures in restaurants.

Employment:

The National Statistics Office said, “data provided by Jobsplus shows that the labour supply, excluding part-timers, increased by 4.7%”. Registered full-time employment in the private sector went up by 7,272 people to 181,710. Public sector full-time employment increased by 1,792 persons to 50,432.

A programme that funds job placement opportunities for students studying ICT or related subjects is to receive a funding boost, to incentivise private firms to take on young trainees.  The MITA Student Placement Programme for 2021 will have an €800,000 budget, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said. The programme will enable employers to have “a more diversified workforce” by employing younger people with new talents leading to a variety of ideas.

Vaccination system:

Malta could expect to achieve herd immunity by mid-October if the current COVID-19 vaccination rate is kept up, a Times of Malta exercise has found.  And for the island to meet the end-of-summer target set by the EU, the speed at which the daily number of jabs is being administered needs to be kicked up a notch to reach 2,569 doses per day.

For the start of summer on June 21, the figure shoots up to 4,741 per day while a staggering 5,859 doses need to be given if Malta is to reach herd immunity by May, as predicted by Prime Minister Robert Abela.​​​​​​​

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