Talks between the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) and the health authorities on a possible easing of event restrictions ahead of a planned demonstration on Thursday evening is unlikely to see the lifting of the dancefloor ban in July, sources close to the discussions have informed BusinessNow.mt.
On Monday, the MEIA sat down with the health authorities to discuss the possibility of easing restrictions, which the MEIA say make it unfeasible to host an event.
As of 5th July, outdoor events can take place via controlled entrances, vaccine certificates, with people remaining seated and a maximum of 100 guests at first. Every fortnight, this is increased by 50 people until mid-August.
For clubs, which operate under a bar license, such establishments would need to follow the same protocols that bars do, meaning no vaccine certificates, with customers having to remain seated and tables distanced.
Speaking to several venue owners and stakeholders to ascertain the kind of restrictions that could be lifted as a result of the talks, informed sources say they have primarily centred around capacity limitations for organiser’s events to stand a chance at being financially viable.
Officially, the MEIA have confirmed that it is awaiting further feedback from its meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, Culture Minister Jose Herrera and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Guaci before it informs members or makes announcements on what was discussed.
Following the meeting, one well-placed source and a local events operator who preferred not to be named at this stage shared that from Monday’s talks “the situation is not looking good”.
On Thursday evening, the MEIA is holding a protest in Valletta calling for the opening of “responsible, sustainable and controlled” events. Entitled ‘Daqshekk Siekta’ (Silent No More), the protest is calling on the authorities to provide a sensible re-opening plan taking the sector through the end of the year.
“Considering the current realities with such a successful vaccine roll out as well and herd immunity as well as acknowledging the fact that public health remains a priority, there is no logical reason why the respective authorities did not accept MEIA’s reasonable proposals and keeping back such a roadmap.”
“This does not reflect other EU trends where the data has shown over and over again that there is no correlation between a spike in cases and the arts and entertainment industry. In fact, all three waves of infections happened while our industry was shut.”
“All MEIA had been asking for is for our members to be treated equally like other industries.”
So far, 1,300 have expressed interest in attending.
An announcement is expected on Thursday morning as to the outcome of discussions between the health authorities and MEIA.
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