Establishments in seven of the most popular streets in Valletta can start playing music outdoors until 1am following an update to the law that sees the capital placed alongside entertainment hotspots Paceville, Buġibba and Qawra. 

According to a legal notice published recently, "no music can be heard outdoors after 1am" in Merchants, Old Bakery, Old Theatre, Republic, South, St Lucia and Strait streets. 

This means the Valletta establishments in these seven streets will be exempt from the general law for businesses stipulating they have to shut down their music by 11pm.

Although the legal notice states “the volume of such music shall be kept at a moderate level”, no legal limits on the sound levels are outlined. 

All seven streets are packed with bars and restaurants as well as boutique hotels, especially Strait Street, which has seen a revival in recent years. The streets are often bustling on weekends. 

The Valletta streets join a number of other designated areas in entertainment hubs Buġibba, Qawra and Paceville, which are also exempt from the general 11pm rule and where music can also be played outdoors until 1am. 

The legal notice marks the first time Valletta has been included in the list alongside the three nightlife hotspots. 

The issue of excessive noise as a result of more establishments setting up shop in Valletta has irked residents who live in the capital for years. 

In 2017, a study found that amplified music in Strait Street had been reaching levels double the internationally accepted limit. The residents would often argue that the revitalisation of the street brought Paceville to Valletta. 

Sources who had been involved in the issue in the past told Times of Malta that until recently, establishments were not allowed to play any music outdoors. 

In recent months, however, the local council had started dishing out permits for amplifiers to be used outdoors on a regular basis, raising concern among residents the issue could soon get out of control. 

Several attempts to contact Valletta mayor Alfred Zammit for comment have proved futile.  

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