The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers is very concerned about the upcoming Carnival activities which are due to take place in February. Despite the cancellation of mass gatherings, and of organised events, which might bring large numbers of people together, red flags have been raised over the evidence of people nonetheless planning to proceed with celebrations despite persistent reiterations from our Health Authorities to refrain from doing so.
The weekend of the 12th of February is promising to be another instance where numbers of COVID-19 positive cases are going to rise exponentially, unless the government takes a serious stance with solid restrictions and rigorous enforcement measures in place. There is evidence of large numbers of people planning to go to Gozo during that weekend, and rental farmhouses are already fully booked during that time. This is nothing more than a confirmation that people still intend to aggregate for Carnival, just as they had done during the holiday period which has just come to a close.
The UPE has similar concerns for the Easter holidays which will be coming up shortly after the Carnival break as, even then, it is again very likely that people will be gathering despite any cancellation of events which have been, or will be, made.
The UPE exhorts the government to be more vigilant and to take all precautionary measures necessary to avoid yet another spike in cases, and to ensure that numbers do not continue rising. The crowds flocking up to Gozo will need to be controlled, stricter restrictions will need to be in place on our islands, and enforcement of these restrictions will need to be more rigid if numbers are to be kept in check.
With the current trend of numbers consistently in the vicinity of the 200-case mark on a daily basis, it should be clear by now that the restrictions applied to date have not been sufficiently effective to condone a repeat of that which happened in December and January. Too much leeway was granted, and way too many took advantage of it to the detriment of others.