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Coronavirus: Leisure centre owners demand further support

Nightclubs can open from June 10 but there was no mention of dancing

Owners of leisure centres warned on Saturday they would take drastic measures unless the government provides the necessary support to offset their huge losses caused by the pandemic.

Head of the federation of owners of leisure centres (Osika) Fytos Thrasyvoulou told the Cyprus News Agency that 2020 has been the worst year for their industry.

He said that their activities operated at less than 40 per cent in 2020.

Leisure centres, he said, have paid the biggest price due to the pandemic and for that reason, Osika are looking forward to the finance minister’s announcement within the coming days of further measures to support the businesses “properly and in a planned way”, so that they can reopen when the state gives the green light.

Otherwise Osika will proceed “with dynamic mobilisations” that union members have requested.

Dance and music venues such as nightclubs have been closed since March, while restaurants have been operating with restrictions on the numbers of people they could serve. As of December 9, all food and beverage businesses can offer take away and delivery services only.

According to Thrasyvoulou, 60 per cent to 80 per cent of these businesses’ employees were recipients of unemployment benefits.

President Nicos Anastasiades announced this week that new economic support measures would follow within the coming days, in addition to the existing support schemes implemented by the labour ministry.

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