08 January, 2022

Employers cannot manage quarantines blindly


The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry draws attention to the fact that the latest announcement on quarantine letters oblige employers to be aware of their employees’ vaccination status. Consequently, it is imperative that employers have the right to request vaccine certificates from their employees as proof of their status.

Public health authorities announced that a quarantine release letter will no longer be issued, and a positive Covid test result will include a quarantine order for the whole household. Under current rules, the duration of quarantine for every household member is dependent on the vaccination status of the positive person and one’s own vaccination status in the case of household contacts. It is not possible for employers to be able to deduce the length of quarantine of an employee unless employers were to (i) be forwarded a with a positive test result of persons who may not be within their employ; (ii) be aware of the vaccination status of their employees; (iii) be aware of the vaccination status of the household member who is positive. The Malta Chamber believes that whilst it would be unethical to request details on the status of household members of employees, employers should have the right to request information about the vaccination status of the employees.

The Chamber has long been calling for employers to have the right to request information about the vaccination status of the employees. For the employer this is relevant information in a broader health and safety context. The Chamber appeals to authorities to adopt this pragmatic approach of limiting the duration of quarantine solely to the status of the individual employer, as otherwise it will be impossible for employers to contain abuse.

The Chamber once again appeals for the public health authorities to consider how other countries are steadily reducing quarantine periods, and the extent to which this can be replicated in Malta, particularly given the high rate of uptake of the booster.

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