Updated 10am

Revert to strict COVID-19 preventive measures, the Malta Union of Bank Employees urged the government on Friday.

Due to the "lack of effective enforcement and in the absence of any properly planned strategy, MUBE is calling on the government to step up its efforts because there is absolutely no room for complacency if the nation wants to reduce the risk of further spread and fatalities," it said in a statement.

The union also urged against unnecessary travel.

It added that businesses should continue doing their best to ensure the safety of their working environment, employees and customers.

"To this effect, all working arrangements and the relevant measures should be put back in place with a focus on frontliners and vulnerable people.

"Remote working should once again become the order of the day while for those who might not be able to work from home, MUBE expects every working environment to have preventive measures in place such as the wearing of masks, social distancing and mandatory strict hygienic arrangements."

Malta on Thursday hit a record of 112 new COVID-19 cases. 

Prime Minister Robert Abela has meanwhile said that more police officers will be deployed on the streets to enforce COVID-19 prevention measures.

The time for recommendations is over - Chamber of Commerce

The Malta Chamber of Commerce is also calling "for stricter and clearer guidelines for all" in view of the "alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

"The time for recommendations is over. It is now time for mandatory regulation and enforcement for all," it said in a statement on Friday.

The chamber said it was "highly concerned" by the sharp increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases over the past few days.

"With over a thousand live cases registered, and a contagion rate that does not seem to show any signs of slowing down, the country is risking a break-down in the public health sector as well as other essential services."

The use of masks must become mandatory in all public places, today before tomorrow, it urged.

"In the past weeks, we have seen a decline in discipline. The public must be reminded at all times that the pandemic is still very much alive and with us, and is expected to form part of our lives for many months.  We cannot let our guard down at any time."

It also warned against allowing higher education institutions becoming "super-spreader hotspots".

The chamber called on the public and businesses to follow all public health protocols. The country did not afford another situation where restricting education and business activity was the only option. 

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