The government’s ‘lockdown light’ measures came in for harsh criticism again, this time from the international franchises association (SEAEK) in Cyprus who say they are unfairly treated.
“Unfortunately, our seriousness [complying with the health protocols] … has been taken for granted, with the result being the latest round of measures which have been announced and unfairly target the hospitality sector,” SEAEK said.
The association also took issue with criteria for state support – currently deemed unreasonable by many – with sales required to be down by 80 per cent.
SEAEK suggested the threshold for assistance be lowered instead to 40 per cent reduced turnover in business, since 80 per cent reduction is practically equivalent to closing.
The association also said that from the first moment businesses took into consideration public health and bore the costs as necessary, but ten months into the pandemic and the state has not done enough.
SEAEK also said that it is unjust for the state not to offer more support for employees who are by no fault of their own – and by decree – not allowed to work.
The government has also said it does not wish to see workers laid off during the pandemic but has not done enough to support them and ensure this is viable, the association said.
Finally, they also called for the issues of rent and operational costs to be addressed by the government.
As it stands, malls and the hospitality sector (cafes, bars, restaurants, etc) are closed to the in-person public until December 31. What may prove to be a mortal blow to many businesses is missing out on the busy Christmas period which, as the industry has said, often makes up for poorer performance during other months throughout the year.