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14 countries connected to Malta’s airport removed all COVID restrictions

 - COVID-19 - Apr 11 SHARE ON:
14 countries connected to Malta’s airport removed all COVID restrictions

The month of March this year saw 316,713 Malta International Airport passengers, bringing up traffic for the first quarter of the year to around 673,000. 

The total for this quarterly was 44.1% below the airport’s traffic during the same period in 2019, before the pandemic hit. 

The number of available seats on flights remained 35.4% below pre-pandemic levels, with the seat load factor (SLF) averaging at 65.5% of the first three months of the year. The SLF measures the occupancy of the seats. 

The seat load factor was 10.2% below 2019 levels, the statement by MIA revealed. The Italian market was the main channel to occupy air traffic to the island. 

Just under 125,000 passenger movements from Italy were registered. The UK followed suit with around 119,000 passenger movements. France, Germany and Poland registered a total of 174,838 passenger movements. 

The MIA statement emphasised the fact that out of the five aforementioned companies, the UK and Poland announced the lifting of COVID restrictions. A total of 14 countries that are currently connected to MIA have so far removed their restrictions. 

This comes as Malta continues to ease restrictions in for the pandemic exit-roadmap. The easing was welcomed by the likes of MIA, as well as hotels associations. They urged authorities to remove the remaining restrictions as the summer period closes in. 

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Transport Malta announces €20 million financial aid for hybrid or electric cars

 - Local - Apr 11 SHARE ON:
Transport Malta announces €20 million financial aid for hybrid or electric cars

As Malta continues to approach is environmental & sustainable goals, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia has announced the governments continued efforts to incentivise a shift towards cleaner vehicles.

In a recent post, Farrugia welcomed Transport Malta’s €20 million financial aid package for individuals who would like to purchase hybrid or electric vehicles.

The minister revealed that in one month, Transport Malta approved 1,500 applications, reported to be worth over €6 million.

By the end of March, Malta will have over 8,000 registered electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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Russian journalist who protested Ukraine war hired by German newspaper

 - International - Apr 11 SHARE ON:
Russian journalist who protested Ukraine war hired by German newspaper

The Russian journalist who protested Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on live television during prime-time news has just been hired by German newspaper Die Welt. 

Marina Ovsyannikova, 43, ran up during a live broadcast with a protest saying ‘No War’, an act which is currently a criminal offence in Russia. 

The German newspaper revealed that Marina is now a freelance correspondent for Die Welt, reporting from Ukraine, Russia and other places. This comes after she was detained for her protest and questioned for 14 hours. 

She was subsequently released and ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles, which is around $280. She could still however face further prosecution, risking even years in prison. 

Marina was later handed an offer by President Emmanuel Macron for asylum in France, but the reporter refused. She revealed that, despite quitting her job, she wanted to say in Russia. Die Welt’s editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt praised Marina’s courage at the decisive moment. 

The journalist went on to commend Die Welt for standing for what is being defended so vehemently by the people of Ukraine, which is freedom. 

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More nurses leave their job as shortage persists

 - COVID-19 - Apr 11 SHARE ON:
More nurses leave their job as shortage persists

Around 120 nurses left their Mater Dei job last year, with the first three months’ figures of this year showing that more healthcare workers are keeping the trend going. 

With the average annual resignations in 2019 and 2020 ranking at about 50, the figure more than doubled last year. The number of resignations in the first quarter of this year exceeded last year’s for the same months, according to Times of Malta. 

This means that, should the resignations continue, the hospital is set to lose even more of its staff this year than it did 2021. The issue was repeatedly raised by the nurse’s union, with a warning last week highlighting the strained situation at Mater Dei as they feared COVID cross-contamination. 

However, authorities shot down the warnings. Data shows that in 2021, resignations by foreign nurses rose up to four out of every five. This is more than the previous two years, which saw one out of every two nurse resignations. 

Many nurses managed to secure better jobs in other countries during the pandemic as those working on the island say that the protocols are making their work more difficult. 

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