Restaurants should reopen at the earliest because it is clear they were never the main source of the spread of COVID-19, the Association of Catering Establishments has urged the government.
The ACE issued a statement hours after Prime Minister Robert Abela laid out its reopening strategy, which gave no targets for when restaurants will get to reopen to seated customers.
“The reopening plan announced by the Prime Minister is clearly aimed at ensuring the implementation of the Tourism Recovery Plan in order to boost the economy,” the ACE said.
“However, the plan forgot that an important element is the entertainment industry, specifically restaurants, given also of the fact that it is clear that these were never the main source of spread of the Pandemic.”
“If the authorities are unable to take action on the few criminals it is unfair that genuine entrepreneurs, employees and their families are suffering for no reason.”
“In the circumstances, ACE calls for the reopening of catering establishments as other services. Furthermore, it is important as the Prime Minister stated that the vouchers are issued immediately in order to kick start the economy and welcome students in a safe vibrant alive country.”
“The ACE believes that further measures will be needed in order to turn around the economy in the medium to long term. The ACE is in discussion with the Government of Malta in order to ensure long-term sustainability in the sector.”
Schools are set to start reopening on Monday and elective surgeries and visits to elderly care homes will resume that same day.
Mass is set to resume on 18th April, while non-essential shops and services are set to reopen a week later, on 26th April. The two-person limit on public and private gatherings will increase to four on 26th April too.
While no target was set for the reopening of restaurants, the plan is for Malta to start welcoming tourists at the start of June.