Factsheet for case MT-2021-10/1804 – measures in Malta
|Country||Malta , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 05 March 2021 – 11 April 2021|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
|Author||Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound|
|Case created||02 April 2021 (updated 11 May 2021)|
As in other EU members, the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta has been characterised by several 'waves' of cases. The first wave of cases occurred between March and May 2020, and many businesses, including restaurants, were ordered to close. Business units re-opened in May 2020, however cases began to increase again in July 2020, this climb in cases was reversed in November 2020, however cases climbed again in December 2020 and continued to do so up until February 2021. In terms of new cases, active cases and deaths, each of these three wave was worse than the one that preceded it.
Whilst the first wave of cases resulted in the closure of several businesses, such closures were limited between July 2020 and February 2021. Bars were one of the few sectors that were closed during this period, however snack bars and restaurants were allowed to remain open. As COVID-19 cases reached record levels, it was announced that restaurants and snack bars were to close on March 5, 2021; they were however allowed to continue providing take-aways.
In response to this forced closure, the Government announced a state measure to provide this sector with financial support.
Government announced that restaurants and snack bars were to close from March 5 till April 11, 2021. Subsequently, a measure to aid in reducing the financial blow for these organisations was announced. This was announced on March 5, and Government promised that funds would be distributed at the earliest.
Businesses that wished to apply for this measure could do so between March 5 and March 31, 2021 with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), the organisation administering this measure. Applications could be filled in online.
All catering establishments licensed by the MTA, excluding licensed bars and clubs, which are covered by a separate measure, will receive a €1,000 grant to mitigate the impact of forced restaurant and snack bar closures by the Public Health Authorities.
No information is available on the use of the measure, however it was announced that the cost of the measure was expected to be €2 million.
|Does not apply to workers||
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No specific involvement of social partners was highlighted when the measure was announced. The implementation of the scheme is by means of an application by the organisation to the MTA. Ongoing dialogue however has been maintained between social partners and Government throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and thus whilst it was not announced, it is likely that discussions with regards to this measure also took place. It is also worth noting that the Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) had released a strongly worded statement the day prior to this scheme being announced, in response to the sudden closure of catering establishments. ACE asked if measures would be announced to compensate for the lost stock catering establishments would now be stuck with. The statement also criticised the closing of restaurants and the lack of enforcement where regular breaches of regulations were commonplace.
The Association of Catering Establishments (ACE), an employer's association, said the new scheme might prove sufficient for stock losses. Despite this, the association highlighted that there were many other expenses that needed to be covered, highlighting electricity and rent, amongst others.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities||I56 Food and beverage service activities|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2021), Restaurants & Snack Bars Support Scheme, case MT-2021-10/1804 (measures in Malta), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.