The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) is calling upon the Government to reopen restaurants (including hotel restaurants that are not even permitted to serve breakfast) on Monday 26th April along with the non-essential shops and services.
“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 26 April and the tourism market on 1st June 2021,” the statement read. MHRA said that while it acknowledges that reopening of restaurants is critical in ensuring another spike doesn’t occur, restaurants “cannot wait any longer as their situation has become dire.”
MHRA President Tony Zahra said that “Operating a restaurant involves a lot of overheads, and these are 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. 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.”
In the statement, the association said it is also lobbying with Health Authorities so that employees working in the hospitality and tourism sector, “as critical economic front liners,” will get vaccinated before 1st June; the target date to reopen the tourism industry. “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.”