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Hospitality venues say new measures bittersweet

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Hospitality venue owners on Saturday said they were not fully satisfied with a government decision to reopen establishments that had outdoor areas to accommodate their clientele.

The head of the association Fanos Leventis said the decision to reopen on Tuesday left a bittersweet taste because not everyone had outdoor areas and some, such as those in mountain areas, could not use them because of the low temperatures.

The aim, he said, “is to prove in the end what we have been saying all these months, that hospitality venues are not a virus spreading source.”

Leventis said they tried to convince the government to allow full operation until midnight but to no avail.

The curfew has been extended from 9pm to 11pm but Leventis said this really meant 10.15 as this is when people would start trying to pay their bill in order to leave in time to get home before 11pm.

“Those places that operate only in the evening will have problems, because people do not go out till around 8.30 to 9.00 at night and there is little time left in essence to enjoy what they have been missing for so long.”

He said the current arrangement benefited those who had large outdoors areas to allocate two square metres per person.

The government did, however, grant the request for an increase in people per table to eight.

He urged calm among the members of his association and called on customers to cooperate for the sake of safety and to avoid being blamed for any outbreaks again.

Leventis said the fact that the two outings per day were still in place could be a problem for them, suggesting that one more should have been granted.

“We will see how many will eventually open, because we do not yet have a real picture,” he added.

He said those in tourist areas are unlikely to open as they need tourists to arrive first to thrive.

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