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Online service for permit applications to be offered by 22 local councils

Online service for permit applications to be offered by 22 local councils
Jan 11 2022 Share

22 different local councils will be issuing online permits through a new digital portal with a government investment of up to €100,000. 

Natalino Attard, local government director general, said that the number of local councils to be using this service will massively increase by the end of 2022. Through the website local permit.gov.mt, the public does not need to personally go to a local council office for a permit. 

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Concerning everything from closure of roads or the use of cranes/lifters, the central website which will give citizens easy access came following various complaints by citizens of having to apply but being unable to go to council offices. 

Minister José Herrera stated that this is one of the new services in a wider digital strategy drafted recently for local councils. The Local Government and Culture minister said that the need has been felt to update the way that local councils operate in order to make it more accessible to citizens. 

With this being more needed during a pandemic, the investment ‘is substantial’ said the Minister. ‘There are over €800,000 form central funds and also €15,000 from 68 councils and regions, which amount to all cost another million euros from European funds. That is almost €2 million investment in ICT.’ 

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Giving out plastic shopping bags will result in fines

Giving out plastic shopping bags will result in fines
Jan 11 2022 Share

As of this year, it is no longer permitted for a shop to offer customers a plastic bag for shopping. The only exceptions are re-usable or biodegradable bags, with the same applying for single-use plastic bags or styrofoam (jablo) containers. 

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) as well as Customs will be carrying out the enforcement required in order to ensure that no more single use plastic enters Malta. Fines will in the mean time be imposed on anyone who breaks this law. 

As of the 1st of January of last year, the local manufacturing and importation of plastic bags was halted. The placement of certain single use product on the market such as cutlery and straws was also stopped. As of 2022, other measures will be coming into effect which aim to reduce single use plastic products. 

The use of single use plastics which were already in the country was allowed up until December. The 24th of February will see their distribution, consumption as well as sale disallowed. 

ERA’s Marie Claire Cappello said that Customs will be carried out by Customs to ensure that more more single use plastic products enter the country. Bags which are less than 50 microns thick can no longer be used for commerce, whether or not they are free or against payment. Light plastic bags which are less than 15 microns thick can still be used for hygienic purposes. 

Thin plastic bags can therefore be used to package food. However, they cannot be used to place non-food products. Reusable plastic bags which are biodegradable compostable can be used. 

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Dingli school yard becomes winter wonderland after hail storm

Dingli school yard becomes winter wonderland after hail storm
Jan 11 2022 Share

It’s not a common phenomenon for Malta but yesterday, Dingli Secondary School – St. Nicholas College uploaded some images of their school yard covered in white hail. 

The school described it as a winter wonderland which followed a sudden hailstorm yesterday morning. With the hail blending in with white walls, the photos do actually resemble something similar to what other countries accustomed to snow experience quite normally. 

But for Malta, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean and notorious for its heat waves, such phenomena are one off delight. 

The post was met with surprised reactions and delight by many, especially the school staff who shared the photos and exclaimed their surprise at the unusual sight. 

If you’re wondering about the upcoming weather, 7 day forecasts predict isolated showers and cloudy skies for the rest of the week. No more hail storms are expected but rain fall seems more likely towards the weekend. 

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Malta with the highest booster shot rollout and lowest hospitalisations in EU

Malta with the highest booster shot rollout and lowest hospitalisations in EU
Jan 11 2022 Share

Malta registered the fastest COVID-19 booster rollout among the European Union members on Monday 10th January 2022. 

According to the latest figures posted on Saħħa’s Facebook page, Malta also ranked just above the UK, Ireland and Israel in terms of vaccine boosters administered per 100 people. 

Among the lowest are Latvia (at the bottom), followed by Slovakia and Poland. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne took to social media to announce Malta’s highest booster and lowest hospitalisation rates in all of Europe. 

He quoted the data to highlight how the booster works and encouraged everyone to take their jab when it’s their turn.

As of yesterday, 1,133,334 doses of the vaccine were administered, 278,153 of which were all boosters. This also comes amidst a significant spike in cases, with active cases ranking at 14,053. 

However, Malta only has 7 people out of 131 hospitalised people in Intensive Care Units. Malta also registered 542 recoveries yesterday 10th January 2022, with one death bringing up the total to 489.

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