Lebanese singer Assi El-Hallani has been fined 300 Million Lebanese Lira after performing live to hundreds of people on New Year’s Eve at Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel.
The event, which was priced at 1.5 million LBP per person for a basic table, an affordable cost for those paying in US dollars, drew in a higher number of reservations than planned.
It also led the organizers to raise the price to 5 million LBP per person at the increase in demands, and exceed the number of attendees from 500 to 750, which caused the violation of safety measures put forth by the Ministry of Health.
And that despite the emphasis on the Restaurant Owners Syndicate to respect the safety measures during New Year’s eve.
25 positive COVID-19 cases were reportedly detected from the audience, and every person who attended that concert on New Year’s Eve is asked to quarantine and isolate themselves at home.
The owner of the venue has been also fined for permitting the organizers to raise the number of attendees to 750 people and losing control of the safety measures put forth by the Ministry of Health.
In addition to the 300M LBP fine, Assi El-Hallani’s license to perform was reportedly withdrawn.
The event also featured performances from Lebanese artists Melhem Zein and Nader Al Atat. No report as of yet if they have been also fined.
While the main responsible for this violation are the organizers and the owner of the venue, Assi El-Hallani was the main target of Lebanese people’s criticism on Twitter.
It is worth mentioning that the Lebanese singer, who is widely loved in Lebanon and the region, had posted a video-call on his Facebook back in March, urging people to take the pandemic seriously and commit to social distancing and lockdown rules.
Ever since then, the pandemic has continued to rage in the country and the cases of infection increasing.
Officials now expect a higher surge in cases in around 10 days as the impact of overcrowded events and gatherings on New Year’s Eve will be translating into numbers.
An official call by the Education Ministry to academic institutions across the country has been already issued to stop all classes in-person and for students to stick to distance/virtual learning.
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