Blog post by Marica Micallef
The catchy sentence “Let’s go back to normality” is on the lips of people, our authorities and even of Prime Minister Dr Abela, who wrote “Let’s take care of each other so that we can kick off the road to normality in consistency with our plan,” Abela finished. It seems that tourism will bring about the normality magic.
So far, even though we were told that masks and distancing will work, they did not. Then it was the lockdowns and restrictions’s turn to do the trick! Having witnessed last year a drop in the number of cases during the partial lockdown but a rise in cases again in Autumn, will this pattern repeat itself again this coming Autumn? Is it by mere coincidence that we are being ordered to do a lot of sacrifices before Summer, so that then, we accommodate tourism for the sake of the economy and normality? So aren’t our health and safety a priority?
We all know the direct impact on the economy that these lockdowns are having. But such a sacrifice is for the benefit of our safety, the same safety which is then put aside once the restrictions are eased, so that the economy flourishes and we are back to normality. It seems that for the authorities, going back to normality is having tourists again!
Hence, having the minister for tourism Clayton Bartolo announcing that Malta is planning to welcome tourists as from June, is truly shocking. Firstly, will the same restrictions imposed on us be imposed on tourists? Will there be a distance of two metres between passengers on each plane? Will tourists be wearing masks on the plane and during their stay here? Will they come in groups of two, from different households? Will they be checked in their accommodation by the police? Will they be allowed to sit in large groups while eating out?
Shall the above measures be lifted for both tourists and us, what makes the local authorities think that having tourists and Maltese mixing together, won’t see a surge in the number of cases again? According to Mr Bartolo, only vaccinated people will be allowed, thus reassuring the public that safety is being incorporated. Yet, we have all came across articles (and I came across Facebook posts too) whereby people here either passed away or still tested positive for Covid even though they were vaccinated! So, will having vaccinated tourists make it safer or will it make it worse?
How discriminatory and a breach of the basic human rights for Malta to be discussing with the European Commission to allow ‘green’ passports for those who are vaccinated and who will be allowed to travel without any restrictions! VACCINE PASSPORTS ARE THE END OF LIBERTY AS WE KNOW IT. Surely, this will further refuse the influx of tourists because there are still a lot of people who haven’t been vaccinated and there are those who refuse to be vaccinated! What makes Mr Bartolo think that those vaccinated will choose Malta? With many adverse reactions being reported by those who got vaccinated, will they be strong enough to travel? With many countries on the Red List, how many tourists will visit here?
With the minister for Tourism hoping to bring back the island’s biggest tourism market – that of the United Kingdom – I wonder if he is aware that although the British have been promised the possibility to travel as long as they are vaccinated, right now the UK has a new law which bans leaving the UK. Shall one try, he is fined! Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “it was “too early” to set out new foreign travel rules for the summer.” Moreover, there might come into force the new legislation of a £5,000 fine for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason. What will this good reason consist of? Will such reasons have to be agreed upon by both the United Kingdom and Malta?
Is Clayton Bartolo grounding himself and facing the stark reality of all that is to come and the repercussions?