So-called domestic ‘vaccine passports’ for events should be considered part of a strategy to revive Malta’s struggling arts scene, the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association has proposed.
“We are well aware that mass gatherings with thousands of people might not be realistic for this summer,” MEIA president Howard Keith Debono said.
“We can still hopefully look at small scale options, may it be with certification of vaccinations, sustainable models with different mitigation measures or strict border controls due to the new variants, if we have a well-managed exit plan to facilitate such planning.”
Debate over domestic vaccine passports, which would allow people to attend events if they can prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, was sparked in the UK in recent days.
Malta has been pushing for an EU-wide system of ‘vaccine passports’ for travel, but this is the first time a domestic vaccine passport system has been proposed internally.
The MEIA, which was set up to lobby for artists’ needs following the start of the pandemic, urged the authorities to immediately publish a ‘COVID exit plan’ for the next 12 months to allow artists to plan ahead.
“MEIA is concerned that the current situation is often leading to crisis management, leading to conflicting messages by different public entities and economic hardship to the industry,” they said.
“Industry professionals in the arts and entertainment are unable to plan ahead and address the challenges of the current situation which will probably take longer than anticipated with long-term effects on all sectors.”
“MEIA is calling for a 12-month managed exit plan starting from March 2021, identifying the different scenarios and the respective mitigation measures required for each scenario according to the protocols established by the Health department.”
“The one-year exit plan needs to identify ways in which the arts and entertainment industries can operate with sufficient information to design and plan events for the different measures.”
“Other countries have successfully introduced measures that allowed the arts and entertainment industries to phase-in different event planning measures, some also leading to mass gathering events without registering any COVID 19 infections.”