Emergency Measures

COVID-19: Emergency Measures in Malta | Update 13

The 13th update on COVID-19 related measures. 

1. International News

1.1   European Commission launches ESCALAR

On 8 April 2020, the European Commission launched ESCALAR, a new investment approach, developed together with the European Investment Fund (EIF), that will support venture capital and growth financing for promising companies, enabling them to scale up in Europe and help reinforce Europe’s economic and technological sovereignty. ESCALAR will provide up to €300 million aiming to increase the investment capacity of venture capital and private equity funds.

This initiative is particularly relevant in the difficult economic situation SMEs are facing currently due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will support innovative companies during, and after, the crisis, to ensure that Europe can develop and stay at the helm of global technological developments and accelerate its economic recovery.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_628

1.2   European Commission invites Member States to prolong restriction on non-essential travel to the EU until 15 May

On 8 April 2020, the European Commission invited Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU until 15 May.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_616

1.3   European Commission adopts Recommendation to support exit strategies through mobile data and apps

On 8 April 2020, the European Commission has recommended steps and measures to develop a common EU approach for the use of mobile applications and mobile data in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Recommendation sets out a process towards the adoption with the Member States of a toolbox, focusing on two dimensions:

  • a pan-European coordinated approach for the use of mobile applications for empowering citizens to take effective and more targeted social distancing measures and for warning, preventing and contact tracing; and
  • a common approach for modelling and predicting the evolution of the virus through anonymised and aggregated mobile location data.

The Recommendation sets out key principles for the use of these apps and data as regards data security and the respect of EU fundamental rights such as privacy and data protection.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_626

 

2. Administrative Notices

2.1   Press Release by the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs

The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs issued a press release advising Maltese nationals and third-country nationals in possession of a valid Maltese residence permit to make their way to Malta by no later than Sunday 12th April 2020. The Ministry specified that repatriation cannot be guaranteed after this date.

Information on reservations for repatriation flights is contained in the following link: https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/en/Government/Press%20Releases/Pages/STQARRIJA-MILL-MINISTERU-GĦALL-AFFARIJIET-BARRANIN-U-EWROPEJ.aspx

2.2   Press Release by the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs

The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs has announced that the voluntary outbound repatriation assistance scheme has been extended to all foreign nationals, who either resided or who were here on a temporary visit, and who wish to be repatriated to their home country. Assistance is also available to:

  • European Union citizens and third-country nationals who have been staying in Malta for other purposes, including employment, education and family reasons; and
  • Foreign individuals who are not in possession of a residence document.

Interested individuals must register their interest to utilise one of these repatriation flights on the following link: https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/apply by Sunday 19th April 2020.

Further information is contained in the following link: https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/DOI/Press%20Releases/Pages/2020/April/09/pr200644.aspx

2.3   Changes to services provided by Identity Malta Agency

Identity Malta issued a notice outlining additional measures being applied in view of the latest developments of COVID-19. A summary of these additional measures is provided below:

(a)    Birth Registration: Parents can register their newborns’ birth by post. Information on the process to be adopted and documentation to be sent is available in the link below. This is a temporary measure, and Identity Malta Agency is working on the development of a new Public Registry software which would allow for online birth registrations.

(b)    Death Registration: The death registration of a deceased person can also be done by post. Information on the process to be adopted and documentation to be sent is available in the link below.

(c)    Expatriates’ Ħal Far Office Temporarily Closed: The Expatriates’ Ħal Far will be temporarily closed from Monday 6th April 2020 until further notice. Extension requests for residence permits submitted by beneficiaries of Refugee and Subsidiary Protection, Temporary Humanitarian Protection, 14+ and 18+ will only be accepted by means of electronic mail. Information on the process to be adopted and documentation to be sent is available in the link below.

(d)    Expatriates Unit: A number of new measures have been announced, as follows:

  1. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals as well as their family members, who have either been in Malta for months and have not yet registered their residence or whose residence document has expired, should send an email to Identity Malta.
  2. Family members of third-country nationals and applicants for Temporary Residence Permit can submit a new or renewal application request to Identity Malta.
  3. Interviews of couples confirming whether the foreign spouse enjoys freedom of movement rights, are temporarily being suspended.
  4. For the time being, Identity Malta Agency is only accepting new single permit applications for highly skilled workers (Key Employee Initiative) and workers in the health sector and social care for the elderly and the disabled. New applications for highly skilled workers and medical professionals, as well as renewals and change in employment should be submitted to Identity Malta via a web portal after the employer sends a registration email to Identity Malta.

Information on the process to be adopted and documentation to be sent is available in the link below.

(e)    Central Visa Unit by Appointment: The Central Visa Unit will be open to the public from 08:00am to 11:00am and customers will only be seen by appointment. Appointments are to be booked via email.

(f)     Foreign Students in Malta: Third country nationals studying English in Malta in an institution recognised by the ELT Council may apply for a national visa via email in order to regulate their stay up until the end of their course.  This also applies to third country national students who are currently in Malta and are studying an online course in MQF levels 1 to 4. Students in higher education and whose residence permit validity is about to expire should send an email to in order to extend their permit.

(g)    Interviews of Foreign Spouses for Maltese citizenship by marriage are being suspended: Interviews in relation to applications for Maltese citizenship based on marriage by a foreign spouse of a Maltese citizen are being temporarily suspended.

Source: https://identitymalta.com/press-release-by-the-parliamentary-secreteriat-for-citizenship-communities/

2.4   Merchant Shipping Notice 160: Measures to the Maltese Shipping Industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Merchant Shipping Directorate has decided to defer the due payment date of the relevant Registration Fees and the Annual Tonnage Tax of merchant ships (Merchant Shipping Act – First Schedule), of which the anniversary date falls on or after 1 April 2020, by a period of 3 months from the anniversary.

Requests to issue renewal Certificates of Registry are still to be made to the Registrar. These should be accompanied by a request for the deferral of payment of the relevant registration fees and annual tonnage tax, as applicable.

Source: https://www.transport.gov.mt/include/filestreaming.asp?fileid=4778

2.5   MFSA Notice on Impact of COVID-19 on the Maltese Securities Market

The MFSA has issued a press release on the impact of COVID-19 on the Maltese Securities Market. The press release provides that in this time of uncertainty, the MFSA has published a number of circulars to ensure the continuous flow of information to investors and is in regular contact with the Malta Stock Exchange, stockbrokers, issuers and financial auditors.

The notice may be accessed on the following link: https://www.mfsa.mt/news-item/impact-of-covid-19-on-the-maltese-securities-market/

2.6   Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between MBR and Competent Authorities

The Malta Business Registry has issued a press release announcing that it has signed MoUs with the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Malta Gaming Authority, and the Sanctions Monitoring Board to cooperate and exchange information in terms of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations.

Source: https://registry.mbr.mt/static-resources/documents/docs/PressRelease06042020.pdf

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