The opposition urged the government to reduce the mandatory quarantine period for people who test negative for COVID-19 after having come into contact with positive cases.

The 14-day quarantine period is being reduced in several countries once a patient tests negative, the Nationalist Party said in a statement.   

The party also called on the government to reimburse people who opt to take COVID tests in private clinics, for as long as the waiting lists remain long for swab tests by the health authorities. 

Quarantine of 14 days is currently required for primary contacts - these are people who would have been in contact with COVID-positive patients.

But when such people - and their household - are fully vaccinated and never test positive, the quarantine period can be reduced to a week as long as they test negative in a second swab test after seven days.  

In a statement, the Nationalist Party observed that as Malta hit a new daily record of COVID cases, people were queuing for hours to get their booster jab, and appointments for swab tests were taking as much as four weeks.

It had also become practically impossible to get in touch with the 111 and 145 helplines.

The situation, the party said, was totally unacceptable, especially when the government was supposed to have two years of experience in dealing with situations such as this.  

Such government inefficiency was causing undue anxiety and hardship to many families, as well as loss of income to businesses and workers. 

With many ending up with no option but to go for swab tests in private clinics, it was time for the government to shoulder responsibility and reimburse the costs for such people, the PN said.

Because of the delays, many people were not going for tests despite having symptoms and this enabled the virus to spread even more.  

While urging all people to get their booster jab, the PN said the government should also facilitate access to self-testing kits.



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