Event organisers are risking a €3,000 for “each and every instance” the new social distancing measures are breached.

A legal notice, published on Wednesday afternoon and which comes into force this Friday, lays out the new social distancing requirements at mass events and gatherings as a result of the spike in COVID cases experienced.

Just two weeks ago, Malta registered four active cases, and today has 249. A cluster of cases coming from a hotel party, a Santa Venera feast and the entertainment district of Paceville, as well as irregular migrants landing in Malta has caused the spike in cases.

As a result, new measures have been introduced for mass gatherings. The number of people allowed at an event will be dependent on the size of the venue, with a ratio of one person per four square metres allowed.

Groups of attendees will be limited to clusters of 10, with a distance of over two metres between each cluster.

The legal notice states: "Any event organiser who fails to abide by the provisions of these regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to the payment of a penalty of three thousand euro (€3,000) for each and every instance in which these regulations are breached."

The latest rules will be enforced by the Malta Tourism Authority as well as public health officials.

Recently, a total of 13 establishments in Paceville received a warning letter from the authorities over breaches in social distancing guidelines.

Pressure against the Government has ramped up by the medical community and the public at large. Doctors stressed that, as with previous measures, enforcement would not take place in a professional manner, and thus mass events should be banned outright.

Failing an outright ban, the doctors’ union say they will carry out industrial action on Thursday.

Read the legal notice in full here

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