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Malta Basketball says sports exclusion in latest COVID-19 measures baffling

The Malta Basketball Association has joined other sporting federations in expressing its disappointment after the government decide to retain a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate as a requisite to attend sports events.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced in his speech in Parliament that vaccination certificates will not be needed for entry into restaurants, snack bars, and social clubs from February 7.

From February 14, certificates will not be needed for entry to bars, gyms, spas, pools, cinemas and theatres.

But spectators for sports events will still have to present a valid COVID-19 certificate, a decision described by the Malta Basketball Association as baffling.

“The Malta Basketball Association (MBA) joins other sports associations and entities in expressing its disappointment at the health authorities’ decision to retain the vaccination-certificate requirement for spectators attending sports events when this measure is being gradually lifted for several other activities,” the local governing body of basketball said.

“The exclusion of sports events is baffling when viewed in the context of the decision announced on Tuesday that vaccine certificates will no longer be needed for entry into restaurants, snackbars and social clubs from 7th February, and further extended to bars, gyms, spas, pools, cinemas and theatres from 14th February.

“Outdoor sports events aside, domestic basketball is played at the spacious MBA pavilion where crowdedness is certainly not an issue.

“Regrettably, sports is once again being penalised by these decisions, dealing another setback to the work and commitment of all those involved in Maltese sport to cope with the increasing difficulties of Covid-19 and to return to some form of normality.

“The MBA shares the appeal made by other sports associations in urging the government to revise the decision and for sport to receive a fair and equal treatment as the other sectors.”

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