fearne 2

Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci will address a surprise press conference at 2pm, it has been announced.

Details on the agenda of the conference remain scarce but the timing is notable as a major relaxation of COVID restrictions takes place on Monday.

Additionally, gyms can reopen for the first time in months, though classes cannot be held. Swimming pools will also reopen, as will day centres. Contact sports training for people aged 17 and over can also open.

Timeline of the lifting of COVID restrictions

Overshadowing what might otherwise be a day of widespread optimism, however, will be continued controversy over certain restrictions.

In particular, according to recently announced guidelines for the reopening of restaurants, DJs will not be allowed to perform, although singers and instrumentalists will be able to play “low volume music”.

Disappointment and anger over their exclusion from the catering establishment reopening, which might otherwise have provided a lifeline to some DJs, has been further consolidated by the Government’s refusal to address the reopening of the entertainment industry.

The Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association has subsequently endorsed a petition calling on the authorities to consider how the industry might be reopened safely.

It also warned that “bold actions’ would take place unless the blanket summer ban on all kinds of events is revoked.

Three days after its launch, the petition had received 5,333 verified signatures.

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