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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure MT-2020-16/1439 – measures in Malta

Bortex Tailoring shift production to make facemasks and scrubs

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 15 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/innovation
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 November 2020 (updated 27 January 2021)

Background information

Bortex Fine Tailoring is a well known producer and retailer of clothing in Malta. The company owns a factory in Malta as well as a factory in Tunisia. It also owns retail outlets in Malta and overseas. Its products are sold in several countries, often under the Gagliardi brand. Its factory in Tunisia as well as its outlets in Malta and abroad were closed initially in April 2020 in response to COVID-19. In April, the company shifted its production in its Malta factory to producing surgical face masks and medical scrubs. Its stores re-opened the following month and benefitted from Government vouchers distributed to the general public for use within retail stores.

Content of measure

In April 2020, Bortex produced 6000 face masks and fulfilled an order for 10,000 medical scrubs for Mater Dei Hospital - Malta's primary acute hospital.

From May 2020 onwards, Bortex had the capacity to make up to 30,000 items, including medical scrubs and facemasks, a month. A 3-ply reusable cloth face mask for use by the general public was approved to prevent intercommunity spreading of COVID-19 by the Medicines Authority and by the Health Department.

Bortex also announced that their production lines were sanitised and both the masks and the medical scrubs were being produced by a team in the production facility as well as remote sewing operators working from their homes. All fabrics and materials were sourced locally, thus supporting local businesses.

Use of measure

Sales are unknown but it has been reported that Bortex has the capacity to produce up to 30,000 items a month.


  • Employment retention
  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


No known social partner involvement.

Views and reactions

No reported reactions.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C14 Manufacture of wearing apparel
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Food processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workers
      Production and specialised services managers



Eurofound (2020), Bortex Tailoring shift production to make facemasks and scrubs, measure MT-2020-16/1439 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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