Mass entertainment events specifically targeting foreign markets should be called off, a newly-created association of local entertainment and arts stakeholders has said. 

The Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association said that events held during these times should focus on the local market, and argued that local industry should not be penalised for mass events advertised to revellers travelling to Malta from high-risk countries.

"Prevention is better than cure," the association said. 

It made the call on Tuesday, in a statement outlining a number of its proposals aimed at ensuring mass events continued safely, without any drastic halt to Malta's entertainment industry. 

The proposals follow a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Malta, with most being traced to a Hotel Takeover Party, after registering no new cases for a number of days. Another case was linked to a band march.

It also follows a call by medical organisations for mass events to be banned.

Maximum venue capacity

The association said a maximum audience capacity should be set to a ratio applied to the size of the venue. All uncontrolled events without a gate entrance had to stop with immediate effect, as contact tracing could not be effective.

The association urged the industry to lead by example and called on the government to follow the guidelines and regulations issued for public events on the principle that they should apply to all and impact everyone equally.

Measures, it said, had to be enforced by a legal notice which should remain in force until further notice.

It suggesting the appointment of a trusted team or person from the Health Department to supervise events and ensure all safety measures are taken. 

A much stronger and ongoing campaign should be carried out to enforce testing.

The association said its intention was to safeguard the entertainment and arts industry while ensuring the public’s safety until a vaccine is released.

It said it will start meeting the respective authorities to safeguard the industry while identifying several steps to be taken to address certain issues.

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