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Coronavirus: municipal tax relief in pipeline for hospitality sector

Photo: Christos Theodorides

Municipalities are looking at ways to assist the hospitality sector which must now exclusively serve customers outside, as over 2,000 businesses reopened on the first day of phase two.

Nicosia municipality announced on Thursday it will help outdoor catering areas, such as cafes and bars, by temporarily granting greater access to seating and tables in public spaces – provided businesses fill out an application.

This will apply both within the walls of the old city and outside, but there are slight variations in the procedure for procuring additional temporary space.

Within the old walls, additional space may be granted after an application is sent to the municipality and receives approval.

They may even place these tables outside clothes stores for example – or other businesses which are closed in the evening/night – but strictly only with the written agreement of the other store owner. This will also determine which hours during the day the additional space may be used.

The municipality also reiterated that the tables may not be placed beyond the dotted red lines, in Ledras for example, so as to ensure ambulances and fire trucks can still pass through.

Outside the old walls, the process appears to be slightly easier.

In no circumstances will anyone be permitted to place additional tables without the permission of the municipality, the announcement read.

The move comes as already struggling businesses are concerned over  a lack of space which would lead to reduced income, with some saying they would only be able to operate at 25 per cent of their usual capacity.

To apply, or for additional information,  the municipality has asked shop owners to contact: [email protected]

Larnaca mayor, and head of the union of municipalities,  Andreas Vyras said that in cooperation with the finance ministry a plan would be drawn up for reduced municipal taxes in the coming weeks, which would be given to shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, and any other businesses that had to close during the lockdown.

Commenting on the restaurants reopening in Larnaca, Vyras said the police would monitor social distancing measures and other hygiene measures put forward by the health ministry.

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