Will Malta go through another lockdown?

Blog post by Marica Micallef

What is the latest Covid-19 development? It is the lockdowns that some European countries are imposing on their citizens. Among those countries we have Austria by first imposing a lockdown on the non-vaccinated[1], but it has now approved the general confinement of the whole population,[2] extending the lockdown on the vaccinated as well meaning that the Austrians won’t be allowed to leave their houses except to shop for essentials and exercise. Why? The reason that federal chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg gave in a conference press was that “Despite months of persuasion, we have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,” while blaming the non-vaccinated for the attack on their health system. 

It is such a disgrace that it has become a matter of deal or no deal: either the citizens take the vaccine or else a lockdown is imposed upon them.  In addition, to make matters worse, Schallenberg has also announced the mandatory vaccination as from February 2022, making Austria the first European country in the European Union to introduce a mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 in the population as a whole.  Those who do not comply with the regulations can face harsh administrative penalties.

Other European countries are also introducing similar measures. Times of Malta has reported that Germany “is preparing a return to working from home under draft legislation seen by AFP, as the country tries to tackle an unprecedented wave of coronavirus cases. The reintroduction of the rule, which was lifted at the beginning of July, comes as Germany faces a growing fourth wave of the virus.”[3]

The Netherlands is also going through a partial lockdown, when its government introduced strict new measures[4]

A French news media portal, RFI, has asked whether France will implement an Austria-like lockdown to tackle the next Covid-19 wave.[5]  So far, the French health minister said that a lockdown is not in the pipeline, but he did not rule it out, adding that all hypothesis are on the table, and that the French government does not want to impose a lockdown on the vaccinated. Will it impose a lockdown on the non-vaccinated as well?

And Malta? The Times of Malta has stated that “the imposition or lifting of COVID-19 measures now depends on the number of hospitalisations, not the number of new cases.”[6] This is quite contrary to last year – when we were imposed lockdowns based on the number of cases.

So, will Malta also go through another lockdown as we had during these two years? After all, we are part of Europe too. Will the lockdown be the same or will it be different? Will it follow Austria’s footsteps and impose a lockdown on the non-vaccinated?

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59283128

[2] https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/austria-to-impose-lockdown-on-all-make-vaccination-mandatory.915984

[3] https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/germany-plans-return-to-work-from-home-as-infections-rise.914997

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/12/partial-lockdown-in-netherlands-amid-record-covid-cases

[5] https://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20211115-how-is-france-and-its-neighbours-preparing-for-the-fifth-covid-wave-lockdown-austria-germany-netherlands

[6] https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/new-covid-19-cases-soar-to-122-but-hospitalisation-steady-at-12.916404

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