29 December, 2021

14-day quarantine unsustainable for the economy


The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is concerned that the current 14-day quarantine period for Covid-19 positive cases and their contacts is unsustainable. The government should reduce isolation to 10 days, and to 7 days for fully vaccinated contacts.

The Chamber believes that this will motivate more people to take their booster and encourage higher compliance with quarantine periods, at a time when testing, contact tracing and enforcement are stretched to the limits.

As things stand, there is a real risk that businesses providing essential services will be unable to operate uninterruptedly. Companies that cannot shift to remote working, such as manufacturing will run into serious disruptions that will further compromise supply chains. Supermarkets, essential retail and the tourism sector will also be adversely affected.

Last Monday US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement recommending that the quarantine period should be shortened from 10 days to 5 days for those who do not have any Covid-19 related symptoms. In addition, several other countries have already proceeded to reduce the quarantine period.

Also, The Malta Chamber believes that employers need more clarity and support on mandating vaccines for employees who have customer contact or who are in contact with several other employees in the execution of their job.

Specifically, people who are fully vaccinated are significantly less likely to be seriously sick and less likely to spread the virus. Therefore, those who are refusing to be vaccinated are exposing their workplace to higher risk. Employers need to be supported in mandating vaccines on the basis of a risk assessment.

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