International and Local Measures in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

  • By:Melissa Speigner
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The global fight against Coronavirus has mobilized all international bodies, amongst them European Union and international organizations, which have already come up with recommendations, initiatives and proposals.


Following the informal video conference on 26 March 2020, the members of the European Council adopted a statement on the EU actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Council agreed that the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic requires urgent, decisive and comprehensive action at the EU, national, regional and local levels. The statement lays down the measure already implemented and those which are of immediate priority to the EU:

  • Limiting the spread of the virus

Non-essential travel to the EU has been restricted; temporary border controls were reinstated; the Council pledged preservation of the function of the Single Market; EU medical bodies have issued guidelines to assist Member States in fighting the pandemic.

  • Providing medical equipment

The Council together with the European Commission will continue to do their utmost in order to provide medical equipment across the EU. In the light of the WHO recommendations, it is a matter of urgency to increase testing capacities, and Member States will report to the Commission on the situation.

  • Promoting research

The Council will continue financially support and coordinate research, EUR 140 million have already been mobilized for 17 projects, including on vaccines.

  • Tackling socio-economic consequences

The gravity of the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis was acknowledged and the Council pledged to do everything necessary to meet this challenge in a spirit of solidarity. It is expected that the proposal for a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative will provide EUR 37 billion of investment under cohesion policy to address the consequences of the crisis.

  • Assistance to the citizens stranded abroad

The Council will further step up efforts to ensure that EU citizens stranded in third countries who want to go home can do so. A Consular Task Force has been set up by the EEAS for this purpose.



The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has also prioritized it its work on a range of targeted and temporary tax policy and tax administration measures:

  • Waiving or deferring employer and self-employed social security contributions, as well as payroll related taxes
  • Providing tax concessions for workers in health and other emergency-related sectors
  • Providing additional time for dealing with tax affairs
  • Deferring payments of VAT, customs or excise duties for imported items
  • Speeding up refunds of excess input VAT
  • Simplifying procedures for claiming relief from VAT on bad debts
  • Deferring or adjusting the required advance payments of business income taxes on the basis of a revised expected tax liability
  • Deferring or waiving taxes that are levied on a tax base that does not vary with the immediate economic cycle
  • Increasing the generosity of loss carry-forward provisions



The Government of Malta has introduced a number of supporting measure including tax deferral scheme and employment support, which are in line with recommendations of the OECD.

Furthermore, the Malta Business Registry announced that if a company is affected by the COVID-19 situation and the filing of the annual return and/or financial statements falls within the period of 23.03.2020 and 31.05.2020, the relevant penalties on late filings of annual return and financial statements are not going to be imposed if these are filed with the Registrar by 31.07.2020. If the company has other additional notifications to submit with the Registrar but it cannot because of COVID-19, the company should inform MBR via email on [email protected]

The Maltese Government continues fighting the pandemic by discouraging gathering of people, incentivizing teleworking, supporting families who are unable to work remotely and vesting further powers on Superintendent of Public Health, including powers to close any government department or other places as deems necessary in interest of public health.

Schools in Malta will remain closed until the end of June 2020, students will be automatically transferred to the next year class. Special arrangements are being made for O and A-level exams and university students.


We may clarify any query that there may be with respect to these measures, and we may assist you with the application process.


[email protected]

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