The government launched a new wage supplement scheme for businesses covering the period until the end of March. The revised system, which applies to all sectors, will be calculated on the basis of sales performance affected by the pandemic.
The Chamber of Commerce warned that closure of schools would have a far-reaching impact on students and argued against complete virtual schooling. Teachers were calling on authorities to reconsider opening schools after the holidays amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Air Malta announced that it will operate 19 weekly return flights as part of its ‘lifeline schedule’ offering links to vital points across Europe. The timetable will remain in place until the end of February, depending on developments.
Electricity from renewable sources amounted to eight percent of the total energy mix in Malta in 2019, the least among EU members where the average stood at 34 percent. The share was a slight improvement from 2017, which reached 7.7 percent.
The Chamber of SMES reports that the ‘absolute majority’ of businesses in Malta had to shift online or offer delivery service to cope with the effects of the pandemic. Chamber president Abigail Mamo said that most companies carried out major investments over the last year.
The president of cyclists’ advocacy NGO Rota, Michelle Attard Tonna, slammed government policies that ignore the needs of non-car road users. Attard Tonna said that infrastructural projects prioritise private cars over alternative means of transport.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said that the global economic fallout for the coronavirus is much more devastating than the 2008 recession, adding that it took the EU eight years to start its way out of the financial crash.
Gozo Channel made more than 8,000 trips in the fourth quarter last year, 5.8 percent more than the same period in 2019. Total passenger traffic and car crossings, however, both fell by over a third compared with the previous year.
Malta will be allocated €42 million from the Brexit Reserve Fund, expected to be disbursed this year. The funds, which still require green-lighting by EU institutions, will be used to support business in the sectors most affected by the UK’S departure from the bloc.
Malta recycled just over 19 percent of its plastic packaging waste in 2018, the worst performer in the EU for the second consecutive year. Eurostat figures for the same year, show an average rate of 41.5 percent plastic waste recycling of the EU.