The Malta Chamber has called for cooperation and coordination on COVID messaging between Malta’s Government and Opposition, “in order not to give the public mixed messages”.
This comes as part of the Chamber’s report, “Recommendations to Employers and Government to build a Culture of Wellness & Resilience during COVID with Employees”, which draws on feedback from two events held in 2020.
It argues that a failure by the Government and Opposition to unify their messaging with regards to COVID risks causing unnecessary panic and “this is particularly true at this time when the rollout of the vaccine and the importance of vaccination must be stressed.”
“Mixed messages give rise to suspicion which will result in less people taking medical advice seriously”, it warns.
In this vein, the Chamber calls for bipartisanship, saying, “this is not the time to gain political ground”.
This reflects previous requests for unity by the Chamber, which asked for the nation to “come together” in light of the restrictions announced on 10th March, to “not allow this great sacrifice to be prejudiced”.
The report also calls for the better enforcement of current measures to restrain the spread of the virus, saying “the requirements for limits on persons congregating seems to be flouted openly”.
Many people, it says, “resent the fact that while they are not meeting family members and investing in keeping their businesses safe, others are disregarding rules with impunity”.
Other industry leaders have echoed this sentiment. For example, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has offered the Government its continued support in helping make sure the measures are enforced, “to ensure that Malta will exit these immensely difficult times in the shortest time possible.”
Additionally, the Chamber argues for better “training and understanding of contact tracing and social distancing measures at work”, as it says “this will reduce lost days in the event of one of their employees or their family members contracting COVID or being put into quarantine”.
Other recommendations to the Government in the report include the continued incentivisation for businesses to “go digital” and the further provision of information and support for businesses to incorporate COVID related measures including mental health assessments into risk assessment questionnaires.
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