Wesley Ellul, General Manager of Ticketline.com.mt and Founder of theatre group The Comedy Knights took to social media to criticise the country’s health authorities for “discriminating” against the arts and entertainment industries through the implementation of what he deems “unequal” COVID-19 measures.
In a press conference earlier today, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that standing events will not be permitted on the Maltese islands in the foreseeable future.
He also announced that seated events will be permitted in clusters of up to 300 people from 16th August, and up to 500 people from 30th August – provided that guests are either vaccinated or in possession of a negative PCR test. For the time being, seated events are permitted in clusters of 150 – 200 people.
“It’s ok to have PV full of people mixing and mingling when we don’t even know who is there, but one can’t organize an event with contact tracing which would help stop the spread in case of a positive case,” Mr Ellul wrote.
Edward Mercieca, Founder and Senior Principal at Stagecoach Malta took to the comments section of Mr Ellul’s post to share a similar sentiment.
“I went to watch the wonderful MADC play, Midsummer at San Anton… there was no safer place in Malta! And yet, theatre has the book thrown at it whilst ‘exceptions’ get away with murder,” he wrote.
Malta’s arts and events community has long been accusing Government of discriminating against it through its COVID-19 measures.
In light of this, minutes after today’s press conference the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) called on Government to implement a number of measures including but not limited to a road map till the end of the year, a seat compensation scheme for theatres and cinemas, and financial support to operators that still cannot operate due to restrictions.
“Sorry Chris Fearne, but your logic doesn’t track. The only difference is big money and not if standing events can’t happen. You need to close PV,” Mr Ellul concluded.
Wesley Ellul / LinkedIn
He replaces Jose Ramon Alegre, who resigned from the position at the start of 2024.
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