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Coronavirus: Bar and restaurant owners say patience wearing thin

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A closed restaurant in old Nicosia (Photo: CNA)

The association of owners of recreation centres (Pasika) will not accept any post-lockdown extensions to restaurant closures, and disagree with suggested new rules due to go into effect from May 10, general secretary Fanos Leventis said on Tuesday.

The current lockdown is set to end on May 9, after which the health minister mooted that the public must present a vaccination certificate, a negative test or proof that they were ill with the virus in the past three months to enter catering sites, places where people gather, gyms, retail outlets, theatres etc.

“We cannot even fathom the possibility of our industry remaining closed for longer,” he told the Cyprus News Agency, saying that business owners have exceeded their limits and endurance.

Recreation centre owners expect the industry to reopen with little to no restrictions, particularly when talking about limits on operating hours and the number of customers they are allowed to serve, he added.

He reiterated that the association’s strong disagreement with any rules going into force after May 10, which he has previously called “unenforceable,” although adding that the association’s board is trying to avoid conflicts with the state.

Earlier in the day, president of the recreation centres association (Osika) Neophytos Thrasyvoulou said that priority should be given to vaccinating employees in the sector to help pave the way for reopening cafés and restaurants.

“From the latest statements of the finance minister it is clear that any support measures for business owners for the month of April will be the last,” Thrasyvoulos added.

This, he continued, means the government must concentrate on vaccinations for those working in the industry and thus support groups completely dependent on the tourism industry.

“We demand the reopening of our businesses in healthy conditions that allow them to operate without closures.

“It should be noted we are consulting scientists on pandemic issues, but also legal advisors on similar matters,” Leventis concluded.

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