The Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) has raised concerns around a 70 dB sound limit for singers, musicians and DJs performing at restaurants and activities such as weddings, pointing out that a restaurant without music is already at 70 dB.
“The 70db limit is not only too low but also not practical & once again this discriminates against our professional practice and members”, it said on social media.
It cites two important problems with the legislation.
Firstly, it says that the country is not equipped to measure sound levels effectively for all the activities spread across the islands, and says that leaving the measurements to individual police officers is “definitely not an option” and would risk creating a non-level playing field.
Additionally, it cites World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines stating that maximum noise levels at work should be an average of 85 dB, with peaks of 135 dB.
Whilst it acknowledges that the regulation may not have been intended to discriminate against the industry it represents, it asks that the Police and Health Authorities be informed of the aforementioned.
It was making the statements as, following a protracted campaign demanding the removal of a regulation banning DJs from playing at recently-reopened restaurants, mandatory health guidelines were updated to allow DJs and live music performed at below 70 dB.
The guidelines cite the 70 dB figure as making it “possible to conduct a conversation with a person next to you without raising your voice”. This is desirable considering that increased airflow from louder talking has been found to increase the transmission of the COVID virus.
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