Malta’s airport calls for change to vaccine certificate regulations

 - COVID-19 - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
Malta’s airport calls for change to vaccine certificate regulations

In a new statement, Malta International Airport urged health authorities to reconsider the new vaccine certificate rules which are set to come into effect next week.

The statement said that the regulations put an unnecessary burden on Maltese residents, putting the airport as well at a significant disadvantages to others in the EU. 

As of January 17th, Malta plans on making its vaccine certificates valid for only three months from the second dose instead of the nine month period set out by the European Commission. 

The three month rule has come under fire from the EU, which stated that it breaches its rules. For those who had the booster shot, a nine-month period will be given until the certificate expires. 

The statement said that given how Malta is the only member state which shortened the validity period of certificates, the Superintendent for Public Health has imposed ‘an unnecessary hurdle for Maltese residents to travel, together with undermining consumer confidence for the tourism industry during this already very challenging winter period.’ 

The MIA urged authorities to halt the introduction of these ‘unnecessary’ and ‘haphazard’ restrictions as they go against the ‘spirit of the European Union to facilitate free movement.’ 


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5 ways to ease yourself into a vegan lifestyle

 - Food - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
5 ways to ease yourself into a vegan lifestyle

As the new year picks up it’s pace, many might be considering a massive leap towards a new diet or lifestyle. And for many, the vegan diet has been an intriguing concept. Whether it’s for health or philosophical reasons, veganism is undoubtedly picking up popularity.

However, it might seem quite daunting for someone trying to test the waters but fears they will not manage to adjust to it as well as they hope. But fear not, we have you covered. Here are five ways you can approach it before completely taking the plunge you’ve been waiting for. 

Tip 1: Taste Tests 

‘But what will I eat?’- This question is a very fair one. Transitioning from juicy steaks to a diet where those are absent might seem impossible. 

But start off by introducing vegan options to your meals. Maybe substitute some animal-based products here and there 3 times a week or get used to the taste of vegan foods. This way, it might not come as too much of a shock when you completely make the shift. 

Tip 2: Get Testimonies! 

Whether it’s that friend who’s been vegan for 2 years already or a health specialist who focuses on this specific diet, getting second-hand accounts as to the benefits of veganism can help you transition. 

Of course, you’re not guaranteed that everyone will endorse the lifestyle 100%. You might encounter someone who decided to go back on it. But community and support are crucial for such big decisions!

Tip 3: Meet animals! 

Go out and volunteer in some shelters and see first hand which species you’ll be helping with your decision! Visit a couple of farms and see that, no, animals aren’t purposefully made to be on your plate. They are wonderful beings worthy of love and well-being. 

Tip 4: Philosophy can be fun – and life-saving!

‘Don’t you miss chicken nuggets and bacon?’ – A question that pops up way too often but can be easily answered with, ‘Yes, but it isn’t about me.’ 

It’s perfectly understandable to turn vegan purely for health reasons. But extending your well of knowledge to consider what happens during the entire process which leads to a piece of meat to end up on your plate can raise your consideration of the world at large tenfold. For starters, consider reading Peter Singer’s ‘Animal Liberation.’

Tip 5: It’s not an absolute decision 

This shouldn’t be deemed as an excuse to be a ‘vegan by name, wild omnivore by action’, but know that your decision is not set in some absolute stone. 

You can slip up, take your time, pause it for health reasons, etc. We’re human trying to make lives, ours and those of other beings, better. A slip up or two is expected. But the effort is already contributing towards at least, more awareness! 

Bonus tip: Set mini challenges for yourself. Consider turning vegan for a week at a time and see how it goes. Then extend it to two weeks… then three. Before you know it you won’t even notice the transition happened in its entirety. 


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Free COVID self-testing kits could have massive benefits says PN candidate

 - COVID-19 - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
Free COVID self-testing kits could have massive benefits says PN MP

Taking to Facebook, Nationalist Party candidate Alex Borg highlighted the Opposition’s recommendation for COVID self-testing kits. 

He revealed that as he himself adheres to quarantine measures due to the virus, he realised upon discussing with several people through phone the benefits introducing self-testing kits could bring following, what he deemed, a failure when it comes to the contact tracing system. 

Borg hypothesised a scenario wherein government accepted self-testing kits and parents and teachers carried out these same tests before sending their kids to school. This, he argued, would have reduced the spread of the virus far more efficiently given the start of the new school term. 

He also said that restaurants and hotels could have continued to operate far more efficiently if the system were approved and regulated by the Superintendent for Public Health. 

A client could have used the test and avoided going to such establishments if they tested positive and thus not have excluded someone who could not take the vaccine. ‘Every individual who could not go to these establishments would be a direct hit to all owners.’

‘Why is the government not considering this proposal by the Opposition?’ he asked. ‘I appeal to the government to take this proposal seriously and introduce it as soon as possible, with free kits introduced to all families.’ 

Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci and other health officials previously alluded as to why self-testing kits are not being allowed for use. 

The main reasons being touted are that people with no medical training can perform tests but make mistakes when carrying them out, potentially leading to people thinking they’re negative when in fact they are positive. Such tests, they stated, need professional attention. What do you think? 



Several classes remain online due to quarantines as schools reopen

 - COVID-19 - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
Several classes remain online due to quarantines as schools reopen

Children returned back to their desk today Monday 10th January 2022, but several classrooms had to resort to online schooling methods due to many students and teachers still stuck in quarantine. 

Malta Union of Teachers president Marco Bonnici revealed that on Friday, representatives of church, state and independent schools met with the Education Ministry to plan for the return to school 

With delays pushing the date from last week after concerns were raised by the MUT, students first started online lessons last week following an agreement between the union and government to decease the impact of a spike in COVID cases over the holidays. 

Tens of thousands of people had to quarantine after cases blew over well over 1,000 daily. Bonnici said that schools surveyed their students and teachers in the past days to figure out how many were in quarantine and determine whether specific classrooms should remain online. 

‘At the moment we are mostly concerned about the recent changes in quarantine rules that did away with the need for release letters from the health authorities and placed the onus of returning to school on the individual. We will have situations in school where people return before they should’ he said. 


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