Paphos restaurants are at a critical crossroads in their fight for survival due to the current imposed pandemic measures, industry professionals said on Wednesday.
Currently, all bars, restaurants, cafes and eateries are closed in both Paphos and Limassol until the end of the month, with some able to operate a restricted take away and delivery service.
“Firstly, Paphos has a very low infections rate of coronavirus, so it shouldn’t be under such strict measures, but it’s not just about opening us up, it’s about all of the districts,” the president of the federation of restaurant/leisure owners Fitos Thrasivoulou, told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.
He explained that as Paphos has a relatively small population and is reliant on tourism, both domestic and from abroad, it’s pointless to lift the restrictions imposed on the district, whilst measures are in place in other areas.
“We are small in number and if the restrictions are lifted only for us, what will happen? We will just be giving and exchanging our money with each other and only selling to ourselves. In the end it will all go to the government.”
Thrasivoulou’s comments came on the back of the news that the meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and his advisors on Wednesday, concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, resulted in no announcements being made.
Instead, any movement relating to restrictions have been pushed to Friday when new measures, if any, will be announced.
However, some reports suggested that a ‘Limassol-style lockdown’ was not ruled out across the board in the run up to Christmas.
Paphos is clearly a tourist town where 60 to 70 per cent of people are employed in the sector or related jobs and it is being destroyed, Thrasivoulou said.
“The government has to recognise that Paphos is a tourist area and invest more in the coronavirus programmes to support people in the area. It really is crunch time now and Paphos is destroyed.”
Most restaurants in the district won’t open until May 2021, if at all. And for those that may try to open for Christmas and ‘chance it’, the association is advising them to consider this action very carefully, as ‘It’s not like the summer.’
“If they move out of the government support programme, it may be impossible to survive. We like to say how it is and not speculate as to how we may like things to be,” Thrasivoulou said.