Chris Fearne Plays Russian Roulette With Restaurant Owners, Maltese Restaurant Lobby Says
The Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) described the current measures against COVID-19 as “a blow to the restaurant industry” and said Health Minister Chris Fearne was playing Russian roulette with the restorers.
“The COVID-19 measures that came into force on January 17 are another blow to the restaurant sector,” he said.
“Once again the Ministry of Health has shown its detached attitude and is once again playing Russian roulette with restaurant owners’ livelihoods.”
“With these new measures, the Deputy Prime Minister has further aggravated the miserable situation of human resources and many employees are leaving the industry again because one does not need to be vaccinated in other industries,” said- he explained.
He also lamented that the catering sector had already faced staffing problems due to measures taken by the same ministry, and described these measures as incentives for more staff to leave the sector.
“The case is not only with third-country nationals but also with Europeans where other European countries accept vaccines like Sputnik. A survey by ACE indicates that 14% of restaurants whose staff have been vaccinated with Sputnik or another vaccine not recognized by the EMA,” he explained.
“In a survey conducted by ACE, more than a third of restaurants have one or more front-line employees who are not vaccinated. These people can work in other sectors without problem, but not in the catering sector, which has a further impact on the exodus of human resources from the catering sector due to this discriminatory requirement. »
He also described the published standards as very insensitive to realities, “including the fact that there are personnel vaccinated with vaccines that are not recognized by the EMA”.
“Are employers being asked to push employees to take another vaccine or are they being asked to increase the staffing problem by sending people back to their countries?” he wondered.
He also revealed that the industry has already lost 19% of its operators since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It should also be noted that the industry is also suffering from gross abuse of the new quarantine rules,” he continued.
In light of this, the CAE also recommends that the quarantine period be extended to five days for everyone and can be deducted from annual leave.
In addition to the issues previously raised, he also pointed out that the CovPassApp is not compatible with all devices, which leads to an influx of complaints, thus burdening catering establishments administratively.
“Since the Ministry of Health has repeatedly stated that we have achieved herd immunity at unique levels in the EU, the measures in place are unnecessary and only put people’s livelihoods at risk” , did he declare.
“If the Ministry of Health wants to impose vaccination, it must take responsibility for it and not put the burden on companies.”
He also lobbied for the various vaccinations which are now accepted in other EU countries, but not in Malta, which is again impacting the industry on many levels.
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