COVID-19: Opening just for lunch makes no sense for restaurants, says MHRA

Hotels and restaurants lobby insists that restaurants will remain under a lot of pressure despite the relaxation of new measures

New announcements relaxing restaurant restrictions have helped alleviate uncertainty in the hospitality sector, but the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) insists that the new measures makes no sense for most restaurants.

While maintaining that the announcement is ultimately a positive one, the MHRA said that the reopening conditions will not be of much help to the majority of restaurants.

"It's positive that we now have a date for the reopening of restaurants," MHRA President Tony Zahra said, "but opening only for lunch does not make business sense for the majority of restaurants." 

"Many restaurants will continue to remain under a lot of pressure and our appeal to Government is to allow restaurants to serve dinner too whilst ensuring proper enforcement measures to guarantee that rules are abided for by all.”

The association raised an added concern that the situation will jeopardise jobs and future investment in the sector.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that restaurants will be able to serve guests in-house from 10 May onwards, but only until 5pm. 

Beyond 5pm, restaurants and snack bars can only make use of delivery and takeaway services.

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