Around 18 per cent of the available COVID-19 Government vouchers have been downloaded so far, Economy and Industry Minister Silvio Schembri said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
This translates into 81,103 persons downloading their set of €100 vouchers, while 1,594 persons have had their application rejected.
Minister Schembri confirmed that the €50 million voucher programme translates into just over 450,000 persons eligible to receive them.
Under the scheme, the second of its kind, all those officially registered as residing in Malta are eligible for €100 in vouchers, including €60 to spend at hospitality establishments and €40 to spend at retail outlets and services. Vouchers may be used from 7th June until 15th September.
Of those who have downloaded the voucher already, 93 per cent reside in Malta, while seven per cent reside in Gozo. In addition, 66 per cent of those who have downloaded the vouchers are Maltese citizens, while 34 per cent are foreigners with a valid residence permit.
Minister Schembri also announced that after receiving feedback from the first round of Government vouchers in 2020, it was found that residents in care homes and homes for the elderly had very limited opportunities to redeem their vouchers due to health reasons and other complications.
In view of this, the Minister said that elderly persons in private and public social care homes will receive €100 as a cash contribution by the end of June, either through a direct online transaction into the relevant bank accounts or through Government cheques delivered to the homes.
Local residents can download the vouchers here and have until 4th June to do so. This can be done through the use of an eID account and password, or by entering your ID/Residence Card number and registering.
Minister Schembri revealed that in the first hours after the voucher scheme was announced last week, there were 750 requests for eID registration per minute. He added that this makes it easier for Government to launch future initiatives as more people are plugged into the eID system.
He urged the public to make use of the digital vouchers rather than physical ones, emphasising that through the digital version, people may be able to make use of them from 7th June, and the chances of losing or damaging the vouchers is removed.
For those who prefer a physical voucher, after the 4th June deadline for the digital ones elapses, Mimcol will carry out a reconciliation exercise and send the physical ones via registered mail. This process will take time, and should nobody be home to receive the postman, residents will then have to visit their local post office to retrieve them.
Businesses may start scanning the Government vouchers from 7th June. For those businesses who were eligible to receive them but did not apply in the first round of vouchers, under the ‘I am a business’ section on the official voucher website, businesses may apply for their activation code and, once accepted, this will activate their system and allow them to receive vouchers.
For businesses accepting physical vouchers, Minister Schembri stressed the importance of keeping them along with the VAT receipt. For those accepting the digital vouchers, the VAT receipt should be kept, and digital voucher serial numbers should be written at the back of the respective VAT receipt.
Businesses are reminded that the transaction will not be registered as complete, and therefore funds will not be disbursed, without uploading the vat receipt to the system.
Government is also supplying marketing material for businesses to advertise that they are accepting Government vouchers. Download yours here.
For any assistance, the business helpline is 80074950, email: [email protected] and website: vouchersmimcol.com
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