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As Chris Fearne Explains COVID-19 Rules For Village Feasts, Band Club Association Appeals For Meeting

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An organisation representing Maltese band clubs has appealed for a meeting with the health authorities to discuss how village feasts can take place next summer in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We reiterate our call for a meeting with the Superintendent of Public Health [Charmaine Gauci], which we’ve been making since April 2020, as well as the Curia, to discuss protocols that will truly allow the celebration of external feasts,” the Għaqda Nazzjonali Każini tal-Banda said in a statement.

“We urge everyone to work together to ensure we don’t lose a main pillar of Malta’s cultural identity.”

The organisation issued a statement after Health Minister Chris Fearne said village feast activities must follow the COVID-19 protocols for standing events. 

This means limiting attendance to fully vaccinated people, who must also be masked at all times, and keeping guests within ‘bubbles’ of a maximum 100 people.

With the health authorities keeping their lips sealed as to whether feasts can be held next summer, feast enthusiasts have started pressuring them to draft a plan under which these events can take place. 

Noel Camilleri, president of the Għaqda Każini tal-Banda, noted recently that a lot of work goes into planning a feast, including fundraising activities.

“Feasts require planning, especially since they need prior fundraising. Why don’t they say that feasts can take place in a certain way with the current [COVID-19] situation and that we’ll move a step forward if the situation improves and move a step backward if the situation regresses?”

He also warned that this period of prolonged uncertainty is leading some band clubs to consider whether they should close their doors for good.

Cover Photo: Left: Noel Camilleri during a recent TVAM interview, Right: Health Minister Chris Fearne

Do you think feasts should return next summer?

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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