A survey commissioned by the ACE among its members following the restrictions eased for vaccine-only restaurants as of October 9 announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Chris Fearne, has shown that the majority of its members are not willing to waive such an option.
86.3 % of respondents are not willing to restrict entrance to COVID-19 vaccine certificate holders only. 90.3% of those who are not willing to waive such a restriction, believe that the incentives proposed by the Deputy Prime minister on the 28th of September do not justify such a measure.
77.8% of the respondents insisted that their workforce is not in a position to adapt to the vaccine measures proposed. As a matter of fact only 65.3% confirmed their staff is fully vaccinated.
Moreover, 87.7% of respondents also feel that the measures are an overkill on the industry given that Malta has declared herd immunity in July 2021.
The survey reflects the ACE’s continuous insistence with the Superintendence of Health during our discussions that such measures announced by the Deputy Prime Minister were ideal in a pre herd immunity scenario. Moreover, for the proposed measures to be fair and just, they should have offered restaurant owners the possibility to operate without table capacity and distance restrictions. The ACE also proposed to the Superintendence of Health the possibility of a hybrid option similar to the current smoking zone areas available in restaurants.
The survey also highlights the sentiment among its members that the proposed measures will further impinge on the current human resource struggle the industry is facing.
Whilst the ACE understands the purpose of such measure – to ensure further vaccination in the industry, it feels that their impact will be wholly borne by restaurant owners thus affecting their long term sustainability.
The ACE feels that in line with the government’s intent to return back to normality and to mobilize the economy, the measures announce should have been more sensitive to the current staffing and human resources the restaurant industry is facing.