Malta should reopen restaurants to seated diners on Monday, the same day it intends to open ‘non-essential’ shops and services, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has proposed.
“Restaurants have been amongst the worst economic victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and after a very long tough year we are all looking ahead for the reopening of the restaurants on the 26th April and the tourism market on 1st June 2021,” the MHRA said in a statement today.
“MHRA acknowledges that managing the re-opening of the Restaurants is critical to ensure that there are no spikes of COVID-19 related infections. However, MHRA asserts that restaurant owners have reached a point where they cannot wait any longer as their situation has become dire.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the government has provided restaurant owners with wage supplements to allow them to keep their staff employed.
However, MHRA president Tony Zahra noted that operating a restaurant involves a lot of overheads, not just employee wages.
“Many restaurant owners are reaching a breaking point waiting as to what is going to happen with their and their employee’s livelihoods,” he said.
“We now need a clear plan so that we all know where we stand and therefore can prepare our operations for what is an already very difficult situation.”
They also urged the health authorities to vaccinate all tourism workers by 1st June, the date the government intends to open the country up to tourism.
“This is important not only because it re-enforces the message that Malta is a safe destination but also will strategically ensure that any risks of extraordinary exposure to COVID-19 infections are effectively managed whilst ensuring the wellbeing of all those involved,” Zahra said.
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