The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

WATCH: Weekend sees illegal gatherings at Zebbug feast, St. George’s Bay

Albert Galea Monday, 14 June 2021, 11:01 Last update: about 4 months ago

A number of illegal gatherings were reported throughout the weekend, with breaches of Covid-19 social distancing and public gathering laws seemingly becoming all the more common as cases remain low.

Covid protocols were seemingly not followed at this weekend’s village feast in Zebbug – an activity which was well attended by both villagers and politicians from both sides alike.

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Religious feasts – at least the activities connected to them such as processions and pilgrimages – are currently not allowed to take place as mandated by health authorities.

However, feastgoers instead took to their recently re-opened band clubs to celebrate the feast throughout the weekend.

By law, people must remain seated in tables of no more than 6 people throughout their stay at any given establishment – band clubs included.

Pictures and videos from the band club however show that these measures were not followed, at least at the time of when the videos and pictures were taken.

A number of politicians attended the feast, taking to social media to say as much.

Transport Minister Ian Borg in particular was spotted at the back of video footage showing people jumping around to a feast chant.

Other politicians – such as Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, and Opposition leader Bernard Grech – were also in attendance at the feast, as evidenced by their respective social media activity.

The situation left artists in particular fuming, with theatre producer Tonio Attard sharing an image of a theatre which can only run performances for 30 people, despite having a capacity for 160, compared with a still from a video of the packed band club.

“One photo shows seating limitation of 30 people inside a theatre of 160. The other shows no limitations inside a band club. One photo shows the struggle of an independent company trying to earn a living and trying to survive but sticks to mitigation measures. The other, shows revellers having a great time disregarding all protocols. One photo doesn’t show any politician attending the show. The other was flooded with politicians from both parties. This is the state of our nation”, Attard wrote.

Footage also emerged of revellers taking up St. George’s Bay in St. Julian’s on Saturday night after bars had to shut their doors as per a curfew issued by health authorities.

Bars can only remain open till midnight under Covid regulations.

However, laws limiting public gatherings did not deter youngsters who instead took to St George’s Bay to continue enjoying their night.

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