Hospitality industry bracing for most challenging New Year’s Eve due to COVID

Hospitality industry bracing for most challenging New Year’s Eve due to COVID
Dec 31 2021 Share

The hospitality industry is bracing for what could be the most challenging New Year’s Eve as the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases has led to massive staff shortages and cancellations. 

With well over 10,000 active cases reached yesterday, the number of people currently under quarantine has also continued to climb, with estimates suggesting tens of thousands. 

This platform got in touch with multiple business owners, especially those in the catering industry, to get an insider look into the situation.

Many informed this newsroom that as of the early stages of December, the New Year’s celebrations were looking great. Many even reported being fully booked in anticipation. 

However, the quick and massive surge in cases heavily effected the bookings, with restaurant owners reporting that they had numerous cancellations for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day functions.

Some even decided to close down as it was not worth paying for supplies given the cancellations. The main reasons for the cancellations were quarantined or COVID positive individuals. This also had a domino effect on beauty parlours who also reported to this platform that multiple cancellations were called in as many found no need for appointments given they were not attending any celebrations. 

Those who aren’t quarantined or positive have also reported preferring to celebrate indoors with loved ones or friends, feeling much safer doing so. 

Given the new quarantine measures, the situation could likely improve. Health officials encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted so as to mitigate the rise and until then exercise caution. 


Some pharmacies forced to close due to staff shortages

Some pharmacies forced to close due to staff shortages
Dec 31 2021 Share

Several pharmacies around Malta are being forced to either close or consider closing temporarily as they struggle a shortage of staff members. 

The predicament comes due to COVID-19 infections and quarantines, president of the pharmacy and pharmaceutical division of the Malta Chamber of SMEs revealed to Times of Malta yesterday. 

Highlighting the massive importance of pharmacies, Mario Debono said that they are not shops and that they depend on healthcare professionals to operate. 

No pharmacy can open without a pharmacist, he emphasised, noting that pharmacists are already in short supply and that this has now been made worse due to many being in quarantine. 

Debono said that ‘it’s a shame that no one offered any help at all, even with rent and electricity subsidies.’ 

‘Our job is not to close but to continue delivering healthcare and medicines to patients. We are sharing resources as much as we can but some temporary closures are inevitable.’ 

The situation also accompanies a lack of staff in the Human Resources at Mater Dei Hospital. With close to a 100 nurses in quarantine, the situation has been described as very dire. 

The government announced on Wednesday that some quarantine periods will be shorter, meaning that this could see many returning to the work force far quicker and possibly aid in the crisis. 


Photo Source: Financial Times

Malta daily Facebook 970x90

Puttinu Cares president Victor Calvagna brain dead – tributes pour in

Puttinu Cares president Victor Calvagna brain dead - tributes pour in
Dec 31 2021 Share

Victor Calvagna, aged 63, is a beloved local paediatric cancer specialist who was hit by a car in Qawra a few days ago. Following intensive medical care, MRI tests confirmed that the president of Puttinu cares is unfortunately, brain dead. 

His wife Carmen broke the news to social media, stating that doctors ‘will stop all treatment and let nature take its course. Lets pray for the good Lord to welcome him’.

One of the founders of Puttinu cares, Victor was a local hero whose tragic incident was met by hundreds of tributes – from politicians to patients and their families after they were in some way helped by this wonderful man. 

Puttinu Cares themselves issued a post to social media, outlining some of Victor’s most stunning achievements. He was described as an athletic doctor, who dedicated several of his sports awards to kids in need. 

Both Prime Minister Robert Abela and Opposition leader Bernard Grech unanimously praised the good doctor, posting their prayers and thoughts after news of the incident was made public. 

Malta was completely shocked by the sudden incident, showing just how much impact Victor Calvagna made in the lives of many.

Dr Calvagna has not passed away but doctors have stated that he is currently ‘brain dead’. We urge you to keep praying and showing the Calvagna family all the love and support it needs respectfully during these difficult times. 


Photo Source: Victor Calvagna FB, Carmen Calvagna FB

Justice Ministry celebrates all the hard work achieved in the last two years

Dec 30 2021 Share

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis took to social media to unpack all the work done over the past 23 months of Robert Abela’s administration. 

With 145 total drafts put forth for the first parliamentary reading, 56 out of these were forwarded by the Justice Ministry. This marks an absolutely new record for the administration and the Minister himself as he forwarded over 40% of all drafts to government in recent past. 

Firstly, the work with the Venice Commission and the European Commission came to an end and resulted in crucial work being done with Moneyval. This helped to aid Malta in raising it’s level in the fight against money laundering and organised crime. 

Of the most important legislative interventions consisted of; 

(a) equal representation in parliament in order to give women a voice in the highest institutions of Malta as well as (b) amendments in divorce law so as to give couples the opportunity to start afresh in their lives. 

The Whistleblower Act (c), which protects the worker on the work place when reporting abuse, and (d) reform in laws concerning sexual abuse were also some of the most prominent laws drafted. 

More people will be able to benefit from legal aid in civil camps, with all courtrooms being equipped with the latest video conferencing technologies so as to make them more flexible and efficient. 

Justice has also been made more accessible through a Digital Strategy, with a new investment into a new building next to court which will see the construction of 4 new halls and 15 new offices. 

8 new members for the Judiciary ranks were appointed, applying the method inputted by the Constitutional Reform which were put in place by Robert Abela’s administration. 

These are simply some of the achievements made by the Justice Ministry in these few years. Minister Zammit Lewis is ready to continue the valuable work so as to ensure that the law is just and accessible to all.