There are no active COVID-19 cases linked to Paceville, according to the health authorities, which insist that most recent cases are “sporadic”. 

A health spokesperson told Times of Malta there are no Paceville clusters and that most of the positive cases being investigated recently are sporadic cases. 

The popular destination sees large crowds of people every night, amid reports that revel-lers and establishment owners are not sticking to the pandemic regulations enacted by the health authorities.

Last week, Times of Malta visited a Paceville nightclub where mask-free revellers crowded on the dance floor in front of the deejay booth or at the bar ordering drinks, despite the current restrictions forbidding both. 

Despite more than 90 per cent of the population being vaccinated, strict rules by the health authorities remain in place for nightclubs, bars and other similar venues in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID.

Questions on whether the health authorities are planning to remove the restrictions on entertainment establishments were left unanswered. 

Philip Fenech, deputy president of the Malta Chamber of SMEs, said the entertainment industry’s measures should not be fully eliminated but tweaked accordingly.

“Ideally, we want the industry to run as it was before the pandemic. Looking at the situation we are in, it is not time to fully remove measures.

“But with the high vaccination rate and protocols in place, rules should begin to be eased."

He said establishments should be allowed to remain open for customers past 2am. 

“The truth is once establishments close for the night, many people continue to drink and gather outside. While protocols are in place, you might as well allow businesses to continue to operate.

”Fenech said the mandatory table service regulation should be removed, with clubs, bars  and other venues being allowed to put up a perspex barrier at the bar, which would allow people to order their drinks.

“This way, it will also ease the pressure on businesses to hire more staff. With a perspex in place, it will safeguard the bar staff and customers,” he said.

Another point he highlighted was that tables should no longer be limited to groups of not more than six but to 10, with one metre distance bet-ween each table.Fenech also suggested that establishments should be permitted to play louder music than that recommended by the authorities. 

The COVID-19 rules state that music should be played at a low volume so that it stops people to talk loudly or lean towards each other. The sound level should not exceed an average of 70dB, which is just slightly more than the level of a normal conversation, which is measured at about 60dB. 

“The volume is so low that the conversation of one or two groups would supersede that volume, so the volume should go up now,” he said.

“With the results we are seeing so far, we believe we can move to the next step of stability and slowly ease more measures.”

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