Hamrun’s rival band clubs agree to cancel popular festa march over COVID-19 fears

The popular Sunday march celebrating the San Gaetano feast in Hamrun will not be held this year amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases and pressure for the cancellation of mass events

The San Gaetano feast attracts thousands every year
The San Gaetano feast attracts thousands every year

Hamrun’s two rival band clubs have agreed to cancel the San Gaetano Sunday morning march this year, amid growing concerns over a resurgence of COVID-19.

The band clubs took the decision on Wednesday as various other festa organisers cancelled marches in their respective localities and party organisers stopped events.

The Hamrun march, which this year was going to be held on 9 August, is a summer highlight, attracting thousands of people from different localities in a party atmosphere coloured by rivalry.

The feast is organised by the two band clubs – San Gaetano and St Joseph.

The San Gaetano feast is organised by the locality's two rival band clubs
The San Gaetano feast is organised by the locality's two rival band clubs

The band clubs met today and decided to cancel this year’s festivities in the face of a recent surge of COVID-19 cases, attributed primarily to a hotel party and the Santa Venera feast.

Earlier today, the King’s Own band club in Valletta announced it was cancelling this Saturday’s march for the feast of St Dominic.

Festa marches in Dingli, Lija and the St Gregory parish in Sliema have also been cancelled.

There is growing anticipation on what will happen with the St Lawrence festa marches in Birgu, due to be held on 8 and 9 August. These marches also attract large crowds.

The cancellations come in the wake of an ultimatum the doctors’ union gave the government to stop mass activities or risk industrial action at hospitals.

Malta registered 12 new coronavirus cases overnight, apart from 66 migrants who tested positive upon their disembarkation on Monday.

The total number of active cases now stands at 112, including the 66 migrants, who are isolated in the Ħal Far Initial Reception Centre.

READ ALSO: Festival-mad Malta is ‘parallel universe’ as COVID-19 panic rises again

More in National