The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) expresses relief for the re-opening today of restaurants, a cornerstone of the tourism sector and a critical facility for hotel operations. MHRA Restaurants’ Council Representatives Isabella Debattista, Rosie Grech, Claudienne Harb and Richard Cleland state that, “Today is an important step towards kick starting the economy and protecting people’s livelihoods in this sector. Our businesses have suffered terribly and now deserve to succeed having been extremely responsible and patient during this difficult time.” The re-opening of restaurants is a major relief also for hotels which so far have been constrained to serve meals in hotel rooms.
“We appreciate that during the lockdown restrictions, Government supported our operations with grants, in particular the wage subsidies, to ensure that we survive during this extremely difficult period and accordingly be ready to reopen when the right time comes. Therefore, today for us is an important step in the right direction as we prepare to welcome back our customers, but support needs to continue. We are not out of the woods yet, and some of the announced protocols and measures make it very challenging for businesses to operate and to be financially sustainable.”
In this context, MHRA welcomes the announcement made by Prime Minister Robert Abela yesterday that the next round of economic stimulus vouchers, which will give €100 to every resident in Malta to spend at retail and catering establishments, are set to be released on 7 June.
MHRA President Tony Zahra states that “This is very good news for our restaurants and other businesses within the hospitality and leisure sector that have either been closed, or operating under a limited service, for the past months. Now it is time to prudently get back on our feet and whilst offer back the opportunity to all to meet, dine and enjoy life together in a safe environment, we continue to restabilize our business operations in a sustainable manner.”