The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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No vaccine, no problem: No vaccine certificate checks being carried out at SiGMA summit

Albert Galea Wednesday, 17 November 2021, 15:38 Last update: about 2 years ago

The organisers of the SiGMA Europe Summit which is currently taking place at MFCC complex in Ta’ Qali are failing to follow the Covid-19 protocols set out by health authorities for major events.

The Malta Independent has received information from a number of staff who are working at the summit and people in possession of a pass for the event that organisers have not held any form of checks on whether people going in to the event are in possession of a valid Covid-19 vaccine certificate or a negative swab test result.

This newsroom is also informed that no temperature checks are being carried out at the door and that the wearing of face-masks inside the conventions centre is not being enforced either.

Indeed pictures uploaded to social media by the organisers, Sigma, show that very few people were wearing face-masks at the event, despite the fact that it remains a guideline for events as established by the government.

The government’s latest set of regulations – the “Standards for safer organised controlled events taking place in an enclosed area”, which became effective as of 1 November – dictates that admittance to an event should be exclusively on presentation of a valid vaccine certificate.

“Admittance shall be exclusively on presentation of a valid vaccination certificate. Organisers are to verify vaccine certificates by authentication with the [government’s] system. […] All venue staff, performers and technical crew shall also have a valid vaccination certificate,” the regulations read.

The regulations also state, amongst other things, that temperature checks must take place and that staff and patrons must wear masks or visors at all times while at the event.

Any event also has to be given the green light by the Malta Tourism Authority after submitting a risk assessment form.

The SiGMA Europe show was meant to be held in Malta this April, but was moved to November 15-19 after Covid-19 event regulations were relaxed over the course of the summer.

The event brings together thousands of people from across the globe who are involved in the gaming industry and other high-tech emerging industries such as the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence industries.

The government boasted that the festival had welcomed a record number of 600 investors at the event.

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, who inaugurated the summit, ironically boasted how the atmosphere of the event was like a return to how life was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, although he noted that certain precautions still need to be taken – something which, as per this newsroom’s information, is not seemingly taking place.

Questions sent to SiGMA about the lack of checks and about what their Covid-19 event protocol is were not answered by the time of writing.


Photo: SiGMA

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