The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

MHRA pleased with tourism target date, disappointed with absence of date for restaurants reopening

Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 14:36 Last update: about 6 days ago

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has welcomed the announcement made by Prime Minister Robert Abela that on 1 June, Malta will be open for the tourism industry but expressed its disappointment that there is no target date yet announced as to when restaurants will reopen. 

MHRA appealed to the government to communicate with the association before 26 April on when restaurants can reopen. 

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This comes following PM Abela together with Deputy Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci addressed a press conference, in which they announced that schools will physically reopen their doors as from next week, whilst non-essential shops and services will be opened as of 26 April. 

During the conference, Abela said that 1 June is being targeted as the date for the reopening of tourism in a more pro-active manner and said that the government has €20 million set out for helping bars and restaurants make the most of the summer. However, he did not specify when bars and restaurants are set to reopen. 

In response, MHRA published a statement, saying that it continues to support a prudent and gradual removal of the restrictive measures as this Summer is crucial for the survival of hotels, restaurants, and the tourism sector as a whole. 

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the majority of MHRA members have suffered tremendous losses in the last 12 months. Therefore, “the only way to survive is if the tourism sector reopens as soon as possible.” 

MHRA expressed its appreciation to the government for the efforts being done to vaccinate the public in the shortest time possible. 

The association also said that it welcomes the announcement that Covid-19 vouchers will be issued soon to further support the economic recovery of those economic sectors which were badly hit by the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, they also expressed their disappointment, saying that a target data for the reopening of restaurants would have been highly encouraging and very important. 

“The reopening of our operations need adequate time for preparation and pre-planning,” MHRA said. 

Speaking to MHRA President Tony Zahra on Monday, he had expressed his belief that when one looks at the current Covid-19 situation, the reopening of catering establishments again was possible but emphasised on leaving this decision in the hands of the health authorities. 

The association also appealed to the general public to be responsible and appreciate how critical the reopening of the tourism sector is for this country during the Summer season. This is critical not only for employers and employees in the sector but for the whole Maltese economy as a whole.

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