Entertainment industry lobbyist Philip Fenech has said his phone was “inundated” by complaints from people in the sector over last night’s street celebrations by Ħamrun Spartans supporters.
“This wasn’t a small one-burst of enthusiasm that was quickly put under control like when revellers came out of clubs in groups and were patiently dispersed by the police,” Fenech, the deputy head of the Chamber of SMEs, told Lovin Malta.
He said entertainment operators feel hard done by seeing as they had to drastically change their own business operations to abide by new COVID-19 regulations.
This included employing more waiters to handle table service, seeing as self-service at bars is prohibited, and more security guards to deal with any crowds gathering.
Other restrictions include taking down people’s names and mobile numbers for contact tracing purposes, limiting tables to groups of six, keeping the music low, and stopping guests from dancing.
He recounted how at one particular establishment, three tables of people kept standing up to dance and were told to sit back down by the operators and DJs.
However, they kept on ignoring the rules and were caught by inspectors during the enforcement rounds. Consequently, the entire establishment was shut down for the night.
“Some operators were reprimanded, some were fined and others were even closed down for the night or a longer period,” Fenech said. “Who will be held responsible for the Ħamrun Spartans celebrations?”
Police have confirmed they fined 124 people for breaching COVID-19 regulations at last night’s celebrations and are carrying out further investigations to identify other people who might have broken the law.
“It gives me solace to see that police took action so I can inform all the frustrated people at the end of those phone calls,” Fenech said.