Prime Minister Robert Abela has given a strong indication that the reopening of the economy will start with schools once COVID-19 measures begin to be withdrawn on 11th April.
Speaking during an interview on the party radio station, ONE, Prime Minister Abela said that a plan for a staggered reopening is being finalised with the health authorities.
“We’re finalising measures that will be introduced come 12th April. It won’t be an aggressive reopening, but a cautious one, with priority given to education,” he said.
In a statement released on Monday, the Malta Union of Teachers called on Government to prioritise other sectors for reopening, noting that while, under current regulations, gatherings are restricted to two people from different households, classrooms will have 25 students and their educators in enclosed spaces for long hours.
The move is expected to relieve parents who have been forced to stay home with their children. The Parents Benefit Scheme, launched last month and running until the 11th April, sought to support such parents with financial assistance.
During the interview, the Prime Minister warned listeners that any plan will be a flexible one, saying that restrictions could be reintroduced if the number of daily cases starts rising again.
“Our strategy has been successful thanks to our large intake of vaccines and measures that the Maltese have adhered to,” Mr Abela said as he praised frontliners for their work.
Stressing the importance of a safe and successful reopening, he said, “We’re preparing for possibly the most crucial summer for tourism ever, so we need to continue to err on the side of caution in the coming weeks.”
“But I’m optimistic, the scientific evidence is on our side.”
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