An electronics manufacturer is segregating its employees in the canteen according to whether they have been jabbed against COVID-19, in a bid to help curb the spread of the virus. 

A photo sent to Times of Malta, allegedly put up at Methode Electronics Malta Ltd, instructs unvaccinated employees to keep to the canteen’s “upper area”.

Vaccinated people are, meanwhile, allowed only in the “lower area of the canteen”.

Asked to confirm whether the signs have been put up at the manufacturer’s premises, and to clarify on what legal basis are people being segregated, a company lawyer said employees were being split according to their vaccination status for their own safety.

“All employees have equal access to all the services offered on Methode premises, including the canteen,” she said.

"A risk assessment was carried out to determine how best to offer a safe canteen environment to unmasked employees and it was determined, in the light of scientific data, that it would be safer for the employees if the canteen were to have designated areas which ensure further protection.

Methode recently made headlines after reportedly sending a memo to its workers telling them to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo a PCR test every single week.

According to LovinMalta, Methode employees have to submit a copy of their vaccination certificate or else get swabbed in their free time. Any tests carried out during working hours will be deducted from the staff’s vacation leave.

'Get vaccinated or tested weekly'

The company lawyer told Times of Malta that the manufacturer took the well-being of its workforce “very much to heart and has invested heavily and adopted a considerable number of measures to ensure that Methode offers a safe working environment to all its employees”.

The latest measure, she confirmed, was for all unvaccinated employees to get PCR tested on a weekly basis to ensure that the health and safety of all employees, whether vaccinated or not, was safeguarded.  

“The measures have all, invariably, been adopted in light of risk assessments carried out very regularly, which take into account the latest scientific data on COVID-19 matters.”

Just last week Times of Malta reported that non-EU workers from many African and Asian countries, as well as those working in the health and catering sectors, must now prove that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to renew their work permit.

Only Malta-issued COVID-19 vaccine certificates are being recognised as valid for these permit renewals.  

Meanwhile, Malta recently came under fire from the European Commission over a proposed travel ban on non-vaccinated travellers entering the island. 

The island subsequently modified its rules to allow non-vaccinated travellers to enter the island, provided they undergo 14 days of quarantine at a government-approved quarantine hotel. 

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