“My nine year old was sent to hotel quarantine without me”
A mother criticized Malta’s strict COVID quarantine rules after her nine-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son were sent to a hotel to self-isolate.
Evgenia Buyakevich’s children, who were visiting their father in Russia, returned home to Malta on Sunday evening.
Vladimir and Liza, residents of Malta, had been authorized by health authorities to return from Russia, which is one of more than 70 countries listed as dark red.
Travel from countries designated dark red is only permitted in exceptional circumstances and a 14-day quarantine is mandatory at a designated hotel whether or not the person is vaccinated.
But while this was described in an email seen by Malta timetables, their mother assumed that, because they were minors, they would be allowed to self-quarantine at home.
“Instead, my kids were just taken to a hotel, without me noticing or giving my consent. They were alone and without adult supervision, ”she said.
Social media help
Buyakevich said she found out the children would not be coming home when her teenage son called her from the bus to Hotel Sliema.
She said she didn’t get help from authorities when she complained her children were being left alone, so she took to social media.
“When I downloaded my post and started digging, I realized this had happened to other people as well and I was offered a lot of help,” she said.
Among those who offered their support was the civil society group Human Health Alliance (HHA), one of the groups initiating a lawsuit against the public health superintendent for “disproportionate measures. To contain COVID-19.
On Monday evening, the mother was joined by about twenty people in front of the Sliema by ST Hotels hotel, rallying for the minors to benefit from adequate surveillance in quarantine or for them to be quarantined in an adequate environment.
“It was just not good to have children there unattended,” she said, saying she had requested at this point to be allowed to quarantine herself with her children.
She said a health official stationed at the hotel released the children hours after the protest began.
Talk to Malta timetablesVladimir said he took on the role of calming his sister throughout the ordeal because she felt something was wrong.
“She could hear my mom and I talking anxiously about some things, but I tried to keep her calm by telling her that we were going to work it out,” he said.
Parents “authorized to join the children”
In a response Wednesday, Malta Tourism Authority facilitator Carina Dimech claimed the mother of the children had been asked to quarantine the children but refused to do so.
“The mother said she wanted the children to be quarantined at home, despite our insistence that the children needed supervision,” she said. “We asked her on several occasions to join them at the hotel, but she continued to refuse.”
Dimech stressed that Buyakevich had to fill out a request form for the children to continue their quarantine at home. But in the meantime, they had to stay at the hotel, according to the rules.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said parents or legal guardians of unsupervised minors traveling to Malta are still allowed to join minor children in the quarantine hotel. However, it is up to the parent or legal guardian to accept or deny this possibility.
When asked why they had changed their minds and allowed the children to leave one day in their 40s, the spokesperson did not respond
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