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From Isolation Areas To Insurance: This Is What Mass Events Will Look Like In Malta

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With the health authorities having just announced a new set of safety measures for Malta’s events, a comprehensive set of guidelines has been issued by the Superintendent of Public Health to be followed by both event organisers and attendees.

The measures announced by Health Minister Chris Fearne earlier this week meant that events will be limiting attendees to one person for every four square metres of venue space – however, the full list of standards for gatherings and events seeks to safeguard each and every facet of said events.

In a bid to avoid confusion over what constitutes a ‘mass event’, the Superintendent of Public Health adopted the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition of the term, which reads as follows.

“An event counts as a ‘mass gathering’ if the number of people it brings together is so large that it has the potential to strain the planning and response resources of the health system in the community where it takes place.”

“If the event takes place over several days in a small island state where the capacity of the health system is quite limited, then even an event with just a few hundred participants could place a big strain on the health system and then be considered a ‘mass gathering’ event.”

With that being said, the organisers of all mass gatherings and events shall adhere to the following standards:

  • The chosen venue has to be big enough to accommodate attendees and include physical distancing considerations
  • A public health standards message must be communicated to attendees prior to the event
  • Organisers shall exercise the right of refusal of entry to attendees that are visibly unwell or have respiratory symptoms
  • Hand sanitisers (with 70% alcohol content) must be present at the venue’s entrance and at other locations
  • Sanitisation upon entry to the venue is mandatory
  • Entrances and exits into the venue must be regulated
  • The one person per four square metres of space rule must be utilised
  • A name and phone number of one person from evert group must be kept for 28 days after the event
  • Event duration must be minimised
  • Groups can be made up of a maximum of ten people
  • A two metre distance must be kept between each group
  • Hygiene facilities must be adequate and accessible
  • Staff members must wear masks or visors when in a closed indoor space
  • Common areas must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
  • Bars, restaurants, and cafes within the venue must operate within guidelines
  • Performers are not required to wear masks or visors, but are subject to the same precautions
  • Organisers must take out adequate insurance to cover the event

Event organisers welcoming more than 100 attendees are subject to added measures. These are as follows:

  • A thorough risk assessment must be carried out prior to the event’s commencement
  • The risk assessment must be submitted alongside an application for a police permit
  • Attendees are subject to temperature checks
  • Social distancing markings should be visible inside and outside the venue
  • The venue’s maximum capacity should be made visible at the entrance
  • Organisers must keep track of the number of attendees present
  • Visual reminders about preventive standards must be present inside the venue
  • Messages advising individuals with a higher-risk of transmitting COVID-19 to not attend said event must be sent prior to the event’s commencement
  • Messages advising high-risk individuals or those in close contact with high-risk individuals to not attend said event must be sent prior to the event’s commencement
  • Venues must have a designated isolation area

For the full list of safety measures, click here.

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