MHRA welcomes gradual lifting of COVID restrictions, expects clear direction for restaurants

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association welcomes government plans for gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, says target date for restaurants’ reopening should have been announced

File Photo
File Photo

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has welcomed government’s plans for a gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions but expects clear direction for restaurants.

Prime Minister Robert Abela unveiled plans on Wednesday which will see the staggered reopening of schools, and the reopening of non-essential outlets later this month. The country will start reopening for tourists on 1 June but no date was set for the reopening of restaurants and bars.

“MHRA continues to support a prudent and gradual removal of the restrictive measures as this summer season is crucial for the survival of hotels, restaurants, and the tourism sector as a whole. The majority of MHRA members have suffered tremendous losses in the last 12 months and therefore the only way to survive such a difficult situation is that the tourism sector reopens as soon as possible,” the MHRA said.

The association said it appreciates government efforts to vaccinate people in the industry, also welcoming the announcement that vouchers will soon be issued.

However, the association expressed its disappointment that a target date for restaurants reopening has not yet been announced.  

“Whilst data is what the country needs to be directed by, nevertheless a target date for the reopening of restaurants would have been highly encouraging and very important as the reopening of our operations need adequate time for preparation and pre-planning,” the MHRA said.

It appealed to the government to communicate a reopening date for restaurants before 26 April.

MHRA also appealed to the general public to be responsible and appreciate how critical the reopening of the tourism sector for the summer season is.