'Silent no more', artists say, announcing demonstration against restrictions

June 15, 2021|48
2 min read
Theatres in Malta have abided by strict COVID restrictions. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina
Artists are holding a demonstration themed Daqshekk Siekta (Silent no more) on June 24 in St George’s Square Valletta at 7pm, in protest against the current COVID-19 restrictions, which they claim are discriminatory.
Announcing the event, the organisers said all health and safety protocols will be respected.
The government announced last week that seated mass events will resume on July 5 for those who are fully vaccinated but theatres will continue to follow their protocols.
Capacity is capped at 100 people at first, going up gradually to 200 over the course of four weeks. Events can be held both indoors and outdoors but in an enclosed area that allows organisers to control people’s entry and exit.
Editorial: Stop ignoring the artists
Artists immediately complained they were unsure about what they were allowed to do. 
In a statement on Tuesday, the Malta Entertainment and Arts Association said its call for a “sustainable, responsible, and controlled reopening for all” remained largely ignored. 
The demonstration, it said, will demand authorities to come up with a sustainable re-opening plan from now until the end of year to enable the industry to plan.
“To date, this has only been promised but not yet delivered,” it said.
Acknowledging that public health remained a priority, the MEIA noted, however, that considering the current scenario with a successful vaccine roll-out and herd immunity, there was no logical reason to stall on the provision of a roadmap for the arts and entertainment sectors. 
The current situation, it said, was not creating a level playing field with other industries. Its demand was for the entertainment industry to be treated equally.
In spite of the demonstration, the executive board and advisory committees said they remained willing to re-initiate discussions for immediate and long-term solutions to be found. 
The MEIA said illegal activities and random gatherings witnessed in recent days further proved that the current measures discriminated towards the arts and entertainment industries.
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