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Coronavirus: Nightclub owners call for compensation after New Year ruined

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Nightclub and entertainment venues owners on Monday voiced their disappointment at the measures issued amid a record surge in Covid cases in the island, calling for compensation having lost out on one of the best nights of the year.

Very strict decisions regarding the operations of clubs and bars were issued by the cabinet before New Year’s Eve, specifically a ban on dancing and standing in music and dance venues, with a 300 cap on guests, who were also required to present a rapid test not older than 24 hours.

For most business owners, the new measures meant that they had to close their doors to potential customers during one of the busiest and profitable times of the year, as explained by the hospitality venues association head Fanos Leventis.

“As we all expected when we heard the new measures being announced, New Year’s Eve was a disappointment for nightclub, bar and restaurant owners,” he told Cyprus Mail.

“Most of the establishments remained closed and the few who decided to stay open did not do well at all.

“Only on New Year’s day the situation slightly improved, especially in restaurants on the mountains, as people decided to take day trips.”

Leventis also called the measures issued by the health ministry to contain the spread of the virus “short-sighted”.

“The measures did not help curb the number of cases anyway, as we see. The reason is simple. People who would normally go to bars and clubs decided instead to gather at private homes to spend time together.

“But no one can check if the measures against Covid-19 are being observed at private homes, so targeting bars and clubs was useless, as well as unfair.”

Leventis added that the only hope for the majority of business owners would be a state compensation for the financial damages suffered over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“There is no other way out. Many businesses were forced to stay closed during the busiest time of the year, suffering grave financial losses,” he concluded.

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