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Mass events just as COVID-19 safe as shopping centres and restaurants

Mass events just as COVID-19 safe as shopping centres and restaurants
May 19 2021 Share

Early reports and research have shown that events without masks and social distancing are just as safe as going to a restaurant or a shopping centre despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With a nightclub in Liverpool, matches at Wembley and World Snooker Championships in Sheffield serving as test events, preliminary data suggests that COVID-19 transmission can be reduced significantly by introducing screening and ventilation at big events.

This news could serve as a positive sign to the future of entertainment and mass events not only globally, but also in Malta. With measures being eased, mass events are still illegal, being some of the measures to be lifted last due to fear of virus spikes. However, the afore-mentioned measures along with the highly successful vaccine rollout in Malta,  could give the green light to the future of mass events on the island.

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WATCH: ‘I’m here to defend women’ says Peppi Azzopardi as he speaks up against the abortion bill

May 19 2021 Share

Xarabank host Peppi Azzopardi took to Facebook to invite people to read the abortion bill proposed by Marlene Farrugia. He points out that, according to the bill, a baby can be aborted throughout any point during the pregnancy – even a day before the birth. He continues by bringing up arguments that people may have in favour of the bill. He references the fear that the mother could potentially die due to pregnancy and thus warrants the abortion.

 

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Azzopardi states that throughout the last 10 years, 40,000 babies were born, and despite abortion not being legalised, not a single mother died due to pregnancy. He also makes reference to his perspective on prison, stating that women in jail are mistreated and yet none of them are given aid. He says that no woman was imprisoned in the past 60 years due to abortion.

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He concludes by saying that the reason for his vlog is to defend women, especially women who were not given the chance to be born. Azzopardi later took to Facebook to express his concerns about the comments made about Marlene in response to the video. In his post, Azzopardi says that Marlene Farrugia helps several people who lose their teeth because of drugs. He emphasises this to state that Marlene believes in solidarity and encourages people to combat the arguments not the person.

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Photo Source: Xarabank FB, EURACTIV.com, TheGoodCountryIndex

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Contactless payment available on all bus fleet through collaboration between Malta Public Transport, Bank of Valletta and Visa

May 19 2021 Share

Getting around Malta is becoming easier as bus passengers can now use their contactless cards, smartphones or smartwatches to pay for their bus tickets, with the launch of a contactless payment system on all 400 route buses operated by Malta Public Transport. For cities around the world, contactless transport has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have in order to provide customers with safe and secure solutions through COVID-19 and beyond. With the enablement of contactless payments, local residents and tourists can worry less about carrying cash and queuing for tickets.

Following a successful trial period on buses operating on busy routes, the contactless payment service has now been extended to all of the bus fleet, in a fully integrated system with on-board ticketing. This was made possible through the partnership of Malta Public Transport, Bank of Valletta and Visa. The contactless system offers passengers a new, efficient way of paying for their bus tickets, resulting in reduced boarding time and faster journeys.

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Malta Public Transport partnered with Bank of Valletta and Visa to ensure fast and secure transactions built on a reliable payments infrastructure. As the COVID-19 pandemic shifted customer preference towards cashless options, the public transport company aimed to expand options to cater for passengers who do not have a Tallinja Card.

“Cashless payments are a fundamental element in our customer experience strategy,” said Konrad Pulé, Malta Public Transport General Manager, explaining that contactless services make passenger boarding much easier. “When we introduced the Tallinja Card in 2015 it was a first for Malta, and it quickly became the most popular way to pay for your ticket. With the new contactless system on board our buses, those passengers who prefer to pay for individual tickets will also be able to experience quicker and more efficient boarding when travelling by bus.”

“Bank of Valletta is proud to be an important stakeholder in this project which will see public transportation moving to digital,” stated Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Retail Banking Officer at Bank of Valletta. “This is another significant and important step in the national digital transformation strategy which is equally aligned to the strategic direction that the Bank is currently taking forward. The demand for cashless payment solutions across all service sectors continues to gain traction as more consumers recognise the convenience of contactless payments. The case is undoubtedly highly compelling in the public transportation space as it is evidently much easier to tap and pay in contactless mode rather than paying in cash. I am of the high conviction that commuters will quickly adapt to this fast and secure payment method, particularly in the current scenario where society is increasingly shunning away from the usage of cash as a means of payment. So, whether it’s with physical contactless cards, one’s smartphone or smartwatch, paying for a bus fare will truly be pay-on-the-go.”

“As cities across Europe start lifting Covid-19 restrictions, public transportation will be essential to ensure economic recovery.” said David Farrugia, Visa Malta Country Manager. “Public transportation systems are crucial for people who rely on them to get to and from work every day. Consumers rely on them to access their local businesses and purchase their needs, while tourists use public transportation to get around the Islands. We hope the launch of contactless payment systems on the Malta Public Transport network will make the lives of residents and tourists that use contactless payments easier, simpler and safer.”

Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap.371 of the Laws of Malta)

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa & visa.com/blog 

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60% of Americans vaccinated with at least one dose

60% of Americans vaccinated with at least one dose
May 19 2021 Share

The US has officially reached the landmark of having at least 60% of US adult citizens having received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. The US is still very high in terms of cases, with 25 million confirmed infections and India following at close second. Director of US Centres for Disease and Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the news and stated that the US must keep vaccinating citizens.

She added that ‘this will require [the US] to meet people where they are, to listen to their concerns, and to help people make informed decisions about vaccinations.’ Demand for vaccination by citizens is still however decreasing, with many leaders and ministers finding innovative ways to get citizens to apply for their vaccine.

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