The Malta Independent 3 August 2020, Monday

Parties and festivals cancelled as calls for mass events ban increase

Giulia Magri Monday, 27 July 2020, 14:55 Last update: about 7 days ago

A number of upcoming parties and music festivals are being cancelled or postponed to a later date as COVID-19 cases begin to increase for the first time in weeks.

This comes after the number of active cases of the virus in Malta spiked due to a cluster of positive cases who attended a weekend-long party event at a hotel.

The Summer Daze Malta festival, which was scheduled to take place between August 9 and 16, was announced to be postponed to 2021, with the organisers stating on their Facebook page that the event had been cancelled back in March.

ADVERTISEMENT

The organisers of the festival announced the postponement on their Facebook page. "Hello Malta, we would like to inform you that the 2020 edition of Summer Daze was cancelled back in March this year due to the initial Covid-19 outbreak. We will return to Malta even stronger in 2021", they said.

Another popular party, called Class, which was scheduled to hold their party this Saturday at Beach Haven in Xemxija have announced that the party will be postponed until further notice. “Considering the way the situation has developed in the last 48 hour, we do not feel comfortable holding the party this Saturday. We have therefore decided to postpone.”

The cancellations have also hit the Dingli village feast, with Dingli youth organisations Zghazagh Brijuzi Dinglin deciding against organising their traditional briju (celebrations) and majjalata (hog roast) this summer.

“We believe people’s health should come first and foremost and we felt that we should make a great sacrifice and not organise any activities this year,” the youth group announced on their Facebook. There have been no announcements that the Dingli village feast march will be postponed.

The number of new coronavirus cases has been linked to the Hotel Takeover Malta 2020 party which took place 17-19 July.  14 new COVID-19 cases were reported between Saturday and Sunday, nine out of which being linked to the hotel takeover party, meaning that the cluster of cases from this party now stands at a total of 16 confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, authorities on Monday also issued a public health alert calling on all those who attended the Santa Venera feast march last Thursday to make an appointment to get tested as well.

As of Monday there are 27 active cases of coronavirus in Malta, with a total of 701 cases and nine deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Restrictions on events with groups of 75 people were lifted in Malta back at the beginning of July. The announcement brought on a wave of event organisers planning small and large scale events throughout the summer months.


Read more: ‘Telling people to party in their thousands, get drunk and behave responsibly is nonsense’ - MAM


Despite the Health Authorities recommending for individuals to be responsible and continue social distancing, pictures and videos from a number of parties and events show otherwise. Many weekend parties bring large crowds, where it would be very difficult to maintain a safe distance from one another.

A number of associations have called for a ban on mass events, such as parties and feasts, on the basis that these events can increase the spread of COVID-19.

The Malta Employers Association (MEA) called for the banning of such mass events, and said that authorising such events was ‘ridiculous’. “Hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money which have been used to keep the economy afloat and reduce the number of affected persons will have been spent in vain. If schools remain closed in September due to the virus, there will be chaos in the labour market.”

The Medical Association of Malta appealed to the government to stop all mass gatherings with immediate effect. “We may not have seen the worst yet,” MAM warned, while the College of Pathologists has made a similar call for the banning of such large-scale events.

  • don't miss