The Malta Marathon may have to be cancelled for a third year, its organisers have warned, blaming a lack of COVID-19 safety guidelines and a new suggested route that has been considered unsafe by health professionals.

In a statement on Facebook, the organisers said the marathon will be cancelled "unless the Maltese authorities issue a practical COVID-19 mass sports protocol and the permit for our route, which has been used successfully for the past 12 years".

It claimed that a route for the Marathon had been "imposed" on organisers by Transport Malta and that this route has been "deemed unacceptable" by Mater Dei Hospital Emergency Department, The Malta Red Cross and the Malta Traffic Police.

"In the 37 years of Malta Marathon's existence it is with sadness that this event may not take place for the third time: in 2019 due to inclement weather, in 2021 due to COVID-19 and in 2022 due government permits," they said.

In 2019, the marathon had had to be cancelled after stormy weather wreaked havoc. The organisers had then said that while they were ready to brave the weather, the storm seemed to be worse than envisaged.

The marathon was then held in 2020 but a year later, like many other mass events, the marathon fell victim to the pandemic with the organisers saying the decision to cancel is "understandable" given the circumstances.

The organisers said this year that if the marathon is cancelled, all application and transport fees paid will be refunded.

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