The Nationalist Party has called on Government to offer financial aid to Malta’s tourism-based businesses until March 2022.

Currently, the COVID wage supplement has been extended to January 2022 for all sectors, however proposals made by the PN on Tuesday for the hospitality sector in particular call for a number of other aid measures to be introduced.

Chief among them is a reduction of VAT to seven per cent for hotels, restaurants and bars, the removal of Malta Tourism Authority licensing fees and the extension of the COVID wage supplement till March.

Robert Arrigo, Tourism spokesperson for the Opposition, added that Government should also cushion the blow of rising the rising prices of heating fuel oil, saying it has risen by eight per cent since November.

“If we really want to save this sector during tough times, the Government should take note of these proposals and implement them as soon as possible,” he said.

Malta recently announced a fresh round of restrictions, setting the validity of vaccine certificates for those who have received two doses or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine to three months from 17th January, with those receiving the booster shot having their certificate valid for nine months, also from 17th January.

On the same date, access to hospitality and entertainment establishments will start being restricted to holders of valid vaccine certificates.

The hotel and travel sectors have both expressed concern about the upcoming shoulder months in view of changing rules, the reintroduction of restrictions and differing national regulations.

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