“Mandatory quarantine in hotel is punishment” – Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives

The Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives (MUMN) issued a forceful statement on Tuesday against the regulation requiring all visitors from “dark red” nations to quarantine at a specified hotel.

The union has expressed its displeasure with the method taken by Public Health Superintendent Prof Charmaine Gauci, who has ordered residents of Malta to quarantine at a hotel and has requested Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela to intervene. According to the MUMN, such a step was “obviously” meant as a “punishment” for individuals who travelled to a nation categorised as “dark red” by Maltese authorities.

“Covid measures of this sort are unacceptable since there are restrictions in one’s life such that travel is not always for pleasure. Not to add that even those with special needs were not immune from such punishment, demonstrating how callous the authorities have become.” Visitors from ‘dark red’ nations must spend €1,400 for a two-week stay at the Marina Hotel or the ST Sliema Hotel, which only covers bed and breakfast.

The union, which called the regulation “unacceptable,” claimed it had to step in when a nurse was confined in one of these hotel rooms for two weeks with his wife and young kid, without internet or food. “Not to add that a simple request to warm some milk for his daughter, which he purchased, took two hours to be brought to his room.”

“These measures are a disgrace to our nation, and MUMN stands behind our members and their families, urging the Prime Minister to amend the legal notice to enable all individuals with a residence to quarantine at home,” it added. Furthermore, nursing organisations that hire nurses from other countries are having difficulty as a result of this move.

The union maintained that the measure should never have been used as a punishment and that Prof Gauci should not have enabled particular hotels to profit from individuals who were forced to travel through mitigating measures. “It is clear that Public Health went too far in causing unnecessary human suffering as a form of punishment, which is definitely not acceptable in today’s world,” the union’s statement said.