Mass parties and band marches are a ‘bad idea’, Alfred Sant warns

With a resurgent number of coronavirus cases making the headlines, former prime minister Alfred Sant says mass parties and band marches are ‘a bad idea’

Labour MEP Alfred Sant warns mass parties risk giving tourism in Malta a bad name
Labour MEP Alfred Sant warns mass parties risk giving tourism in Malta a bad name

Alfred Sant has joined the growing number of voices clamouring for a ban on mass gatherings as Malta sees a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The former prime minister said mass parties are a “bad idea” and risk giving hotels and the tourism sector in Malta a bad name.

He also criticised band clubs that have organised street marches, which are effectively mass parties, insisting “they are not doing the right thing”.

Sant, a Labour MEP, acknowledged the long-term problems faced by hoteliers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic as they struggle to keep their establishments afloat.

He added that in these circumstances, any initiative that promises some form of income must not be brushed off lightly.

“However, I cannot understand how mass parties can be considered a good idea. The risk of these giving a bad name to hotels and tourism in Malta is too big,” the former PM said.

Sant’s warning comes as Malta’s entertainment industry prepares to host several music festivals in the coming months that promise to bring over thousands of foreign revellers.

The recent spate of COVID-19 cases erupted after several people who attended a weekend-long party at a St Julian’s hotel tested positive for the virus.

The health authorities had also asked people who attended the Santa Venera feast to go and get tested after a person who was present at the band club and in the street activities contracted COVID-19.

The surge in cases came after a run of days when zero cases were registered.

Malta lifted all restrictions in June and the airport re-opened to most destinations by 15 July.

On Tuesday, 65 migrants from a group of 94 who disembarked a day earlier, tested positive for COVID-19 and are being kept isolated at the Ħal Far Initial Reception Centre.

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