Catering businesses have been left hanging in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, uncertain about what rules will apply once they are allowed to reopen, Demetra Landou reports for Phileleftheros.
Two days ago, the sector here joined an EU-wide symbolic protest – Empty Chairs — placing white chairs and a table in a central Limassol square.
Catering establishments have been closed for nearly two months and can only provide take away or delivery. Under the government’s lockdown exit road map, they can open outdoors only from May 21 — as a first step.
Phileleftheros reports that there is uncertainty in coastal areas as to whether to open on May 21. Many of the clientele would normally be tourists — local and foreign — and there is a lack of clarity as to how the sector will operate.
Some are thinking of not opening at all because of lack of clients, others have primarily or exclusively indoor areas, and therefore cannot open.
Speaking to Phileleftheros, Phanos Leventis, president of the Association of Owners of Catering Establishments posed a number of questions to the Health Ministry.
Will children’s play areas at catering establishments be able to operate from May 21?
Will bars at the premises that are outside operate?
Are fans and air coolers permitted?
How will clients be stopped from socialising among themselves?
The association is suggesting that the maximum number of people allowed outdoors at catering establishments is one per 1.5 square metres, excluding employees, and indoors one every two square metres.
Leventis also proposed that if there is not adequate outdoor space, the businessman should be allowed to use part of the indoor space or be allowed by municipalities to use the public area outside.