Update by Ministry of Health
Malta has seen no new cases of coronavirus during the past 24 hours, consolidating a trend of six Covid-free days out of the past eight days. With three persons recovering, this means that only 22 active cases remain.
#MALTA-24: LOCAL NEWS
Two-thirds of advertised properties see price reduction during pandemic
Over two-thirds of the advertised properties that experienced a price change in the first quarter of 2020, saw a reduction in the asking price when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to a new in-depth report on the Maltese market.
Compiled by Djar and EY Malta, the report found that 69% of these properties were advertised at a lower value in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the last quarter of 2019; a jump from 35.5% in 2017-2018, and 38.5% in 2018-2019.
Uncertainty reigns as airport set to reopen
Tourism operators are anxious about business in the upcoming summer months, despite Malta’s flight ban being lifted on Wednesday, as pandemic fears decimate the country’s most important industry.
Several prospective tourists have still not confirmed their holiday to Malta, despite making their bookings, operators said, while many visitors are planning to stay with friends and not at tourist accommodation. With projections that only around 20% of last year’s tourism numbers will be reached, operators are fearing the worst.
Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association head Tony Zahra said the tourist numbers are currently “too small” to establish trends about travellers’ choices or potential future plans.
Many welcome post-Covid remote working, but some employers remain wary
Many workers in Malta have welcomed a shift to remote working following the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, but a survey suggests that employers may remain more wary of the practice.
PwC Malta carried out a survey of 850 workers to assess what it termed as the “Covid-19 remote working experiment.” Most of those surveyed – 61% – had never actually worked remotely before, and only 3% used to work remotely every day.
But the pandemic brought about a monumental shift as many employers were left with no option but to allow for remote work wherever this was possible: the survey found that 71% now worked remotely every day. Only 3% continued to work on-site despite being able to work remotely, while another 5% could not carry out their work remotely because they worked in sectors such as retail or healthcare.
And a sizeable proportion of remote workers – 44% – found that their productivity actually increased outside of the office.
The Independent reports on an interview with Prime Minister Robert Abela who denied any knowledge of the ownership of Macbridge. The company was listed along with 17 Black as a target client of Panama companies owned by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.
The Times quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who said he had no intention of expelling Joseph Muscat from the parliamentary group. He drew a contract between the former prime minister and Konrad Mizzi who was named in the Panama Papers leaks.
L-Orizzont quotes the Prime Minister who appealed for House representatives to exercise prudence with their parliamentary privilege, Robert Abela said that MP’s privilege has served Malta’s democracy well.
In-Nazzjon reports that PN Leader Adrian Delia called on the government to grant front liners in the coronavirus pandemic three days of paid leave as a sign of gratitude for their ‘extraordinary’ service.
The Times says that a freedom of information request into a direct order given by Enemalta to local company Beat Ltd. was turned down by the energy company. Beat Ltd. is owned by David Galea, who was tasked with drafting contracts that were subject to an investigation.
The Independent speaks to astrophysicist Joseph Caruana who warned that light pollution in Malta is getting worse every year. Caruana said that a public consultation by the government represents a step forward but called for concrete action beyond guidelines.
L-Orizzont speaks to Energy Minister Michael Farrugia who revealed that authorities are discussing a memorandum of understanding about road resurfacing projects that develop faults after a short time.
In-Nazzjon follows the closing of the Nationalist Party’s General Council on Sunday where leader Adrian Delia called on members to work together to create a better future for the party and the country.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS (By corporatedispatch.com)
US health secretary warns time is running out to stop coronavirus in country
US health secretary Alex Azar has warned that “the window is closing” on the country’s chance to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases surpassed 2.5m.
The Health and Human Services secretary pointed to a recent surge in infections, particularly in the south and said people have “to act responsibly” by social distancing and wearing face masks especially “in these hot zones”.
For a third consecutive day on Saturday, the number of confirmed US cases rose by more than 40,000.
Scotland could be Covid-free by end of summer
Scotland could eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer if the decline in new cases continues, according to a public health expert.
There were no confirmed deaths from the virus on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Prof Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University, said the country would effectively be Covid- free if that progress could be maintained.
EU Corner – by Comuniq.EU
UK ready to quit EU on Australia terms if no deal is reached
Britain will be ready to quit its transitional arrangements with the European Union “on Australia terms” if no deal on their future relationship is reached, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday.
Britain left the bloc on Jan. 31. A transition period, during which Britain remains in the European single market and customs union, expires on Dec. 31 and pressure is mounting to agree a free trade deal before then.
With the two sides still far apart, a round of “intensified negotiations” is due to start next week.
This daily update bulletin is being compiled for the Chamber of Advocates by CI Consulta from Corporate ID Group. CI Consulta delivers policy research and analysis, evaluations and impact assessments up to policy implementation and integration.