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The Malta Employers Association (MEA) has called for measures to motivate Malta’s workforce to get vaccinated, saying, “persons who, without a valid reason, refuse to take the vaccine should not be entitled to quarantine leave”.

Additionally, it has recommended the creation of a “green passport” to inform employers whether their staff have been vaccinated or not, “in the interest of the welfare of all employees”. 

This comes as the EU is reportedly set to propose a “green pass” to facilitate travel, which would aim to provide proof both of vaccination and of COVID test results.

The pass would allow the gradual resumption of travel — “for work or tourism”.

These recommendations are part of 10 made by the employers lobby group its report on business performance during COVID, released on Wednesday.

Other recommendations call for a faster vaccine roll-out, and the strict enforcement of measures to reduce the spread of COVID, as “the current laissez faire attitude is endangering jobs and lives”. 

This call for enforcement reflects newly intensified suggestions that the enforcement of existing COVID measures is not currently stringent enough.

On Tuesday, Malta reported its record highest figure for new daily COVID cases, which exceeded 300 for the first time, to reach 336.

The MEA report, which compiled data from a survey covering more than 200 companies from all economic sectors aimed to assess the state of affairs regarding developments related to the COVID pandemic since the start of December.

It confirms that some sectors have been more severely hit by the pandemic than others, and warns that “many operators in the tourism industry may not survive another dry season unless they are kept on life support by fiscal incentives”.

It also found that 76 per cent of businesses plan to keep their labour force stable in the coming three weeks, 10 per cent plan to reduce it, and 14 per cent said they may increase employment.

However, the report emphasises that the Government fiscal package will likely have to be extended throughout 2021, which it says, will create a strain on public finances.

Furthermore, the survey suggests that economic recovery will be slower than was initially expected, with 45 per cent of business suggesting they believe that recovery will take more than a year. Additionally, businesses indicated that they don’t expect to be able to re-activate investment projects that were placed on hold during 2020.

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