Following the latest developments reported with regards to the risk of mass events, the recently set up association MEIA (Malta Entertainment & Arts association) has released an official statement proposing a number of measures.
The Executive Committee of the MEIA has outlined a number of bold statements in the spirit of safeguarding the local industry and equally ensuring the general public safety without the drastic need to stop people from enjoying themselves.
MEIA recommends that the maximum audience capacity is set to a ratio applied according to the size of the venue. This needs to be clear and not subject to interpretation. Such measures need to be endorsed by the Health Authorities, whereby procedures are enforced according to the size of the venue (square meters) and its capacity/projected audience.
All uncontrolled events without a gate entrance need to stop with immediate effect as contact tracing cannot be effective. Where natural hoarding is not possible, then a hoarding border needs to be enforced to create such gate entrance. A gate entrance must be enforced in all events and the following should apply:
- All attendees would need to have their Temperature control taken or any instant safeguard as suggested by the Health Authorities. This is a mandatory measure. (we note that these might change as we go along but protocol needs to be followed according to what is advised by the Health Authorities at the time).
- Mandatory sanitiser provided and enforced upon entry
- Mandatory contact details and/or ID card scanned upon entry for all attendees
- We encourage use of visors, masks, and social distancing
- Organisers should ensure their staff and crew who are in direct contact with the attendees all wear masks – for indoor as well as outdoor venues – as they are at greater risk to themselves and to others. This should also be mandatory.
MEIA urges the entertainment and arts industry to lead by example. MEIA also calls on Government to follow the guidelines and regulations issued for public events on the principle that such guidelines and regulations should apply to all and impact everyone equally.
“Measures need to be enforced by a legal notice. We suggest this remains in force until further notice.”
MEIA is also suggesting to have a trusted team or person from the Health Department supervise events according to size of venue and capacity to ensure all safety measures are taken. The exact mechanics of such proposal need to be discussed with the respective authorities. Leaving this up to the organisers might end up with numerous slips. We need to ensure safety and that the pubic feel safe to be able to enjoy themselves without any concerns.
MEIA have no option but to exercise the reasoning that ‘prevention is better than cure’ as long as it is within reason. Since the global cases did not slow down and the pandemic is still very active in other countries, we’re asking to stop all events with foreigners flying in specifically for such events as they are more likely to spread the disease locally.
“The local industry cannot be penalised for mass events publicised in Malta which are specifically targeted towards inbound revellers travelling to Malta from high risk countries in Europe where such countries like UK are not allowing mass events due to their high number of cases. This is a major concern amongst the industry and several entities. We had and still have an opportunity to focus on the local market.”
MEIA is also recommending that a much stronger campaign and ongoing campaign is carried out to enforce testing by the general public.
In the statement, MEIA said that its intention is to safeguard the entertainment and arts industry as well as ensure the safety of the general public until a vaccine is released. We are therefore advocating for the need to act responsibly and implement effective measures to facilitate events in a ‘new normal.’
“Whereas our industry brings joy and contributes to the wellbeing of society, MEIA is also sensitive to the fact that a lot of sacrifices have been made in recent months and that the industry is in the long process of recovery. This recovery requires a collective effort to ensure that we can provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all.
Meanwhile MEIA will start meeting with the respective authorities to safeguard the local Entertainment & Arts industry, discussing various urgent matters as well as identifying several steps to be taken to address certain issues.”