Sean Gravina, one of Malta’s most renowned chefs and restaurant owners, has expressed serious concern at the way people in his industry have been left completely in the dark with regards to when they can reopen.
“I and many many many others are left shocked at the way we are being left alone clutching at straws,” Gravina wrote on social media.
“We greatly appreciate the help the government gave to our employees but we seriously need a plan.”
Restaurants have been closed to seated diners since 5th March, while bars have been shut since 29th October and the government has so far refused to set a target date for their reopening.
Gravina shared a message a restaurant owner friend of his sent him today, warning that he will have to close down his business for good if he isn’t allowed to reopen his business at the start of May.
“I can assure you that we are not winning the battle; we are losing a much bigger war and we are leaving businesses in despair with this attitude,” Gravina said.
“Families and children are suffering because their dads’ and moms’ businesses are on the edge; now the help is simply not enough and we need to open our doors.”
“We are asking for a simple roadmap and an opening date with restrictions and enforcement.”
“A lot of owners are suffering mentally & emotionally; why is this being ignored? I have heard stories that have given me the shivers. There must be a better, more sustainable way for the near future.”
“The first time we were forced to close we were at the peak of our economy; this time around we are suffering rainy days in an already perfect storm. Cant anyone above understand and see what is happening? Seriously now!”
“What are we waiting for? To see more businesses close their doors?”
“We need to be proactive and announce a roadmap-plan for our industry. Businesses need to plan ahead. Health is important but our daily bread is also important.”
“[There are] 4000 licensed bars and restaurants and 20000 + employees.”