COVID-19: New Malta Legal Notice on quarantine leave

At some point, over the last 48 hours, the Government of Malta has issued a Legal Notice on Quarantine Leave. The essence of the legal notice is that, all those persons who are told to stay on quarantine leave by government order (the so-called Mandatory Quarantine) and are confined to a certain area or premises, are not to lose their wages during such time.

The legal notice comes at a time where the Government had announced that all persons coming from abroad are to be quarantined for two weeks. There is no mention about what happens should an employee decide to travel to an ‘infected’ zone, which has not been declared as a no-go zone by Government as of today, (for example the UK) notwithstanding the Government’s appeal for non-essential travel only, and neither is there any mention whether this legal notice would apply to persons who have returned from high-risk zones before the 13th of March 2020, when the legal notice was issued.

At first glance, this rule does not apply where employers have requested, or are still requesting, employees returning from zones that were not declared by Government to be mandatory quarantine zones, to self-quarantine, as a precaution.

In addition, in an attempt to avoid redundancies, the Government has announced that for the months of March and April, a number of employers shall be able to defer the payment of income tax, VAT and Social Security Contributions. The legal notice on this measure is still to be published.