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Economy

Cyprus Businesses Say Curfew, New COVID-19 Measures Dooms Many

November 6, 2020

A 10:30 p.m. curfew and tougher health protocols aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will mean the end of the line for many businesses unable to sustain more big losses, their owners said.

They were already struggling with a first lockdown earlier this year, limits on customers to meet social distance requirements and people reluctant to go out to shop or pinching pennies because of economic woes and fears.

Restaurant and bar owners, wedding venues, sports and dance professionals and gyms among others say this could see some of the them shut down for good, said The Cyprus Mail in a review.

They pleaded to be able to stay open and that they would follow all health measures, a representative told the paper, adding that the early night curfew would see bars and restaurants close just before a lucrative time.

Professionals in the sports and wedding and events industries, but also owners of pubs and restaurants,  said they feared many wouldn't make it if the pandemic keeps up much longer and if restrictions aren't relaxed.

“Unfortunately, with the new measures, we lost the Christmas season,” Yiota Kapari, spokesperson of the association of events professionals (Pasyepek), told the newspaper.

She said the industry wouldn't recover until May 2021 when there was hope that weddings could resume fter the Easter fasting since the Church does not allow these ceremonies during those times, with Easter on May 2.

“Many businesses have not worked since October 2019, and are not expected to until May 2021,” she said. “No matter how economically robust they may be, they will not be able to withstand this,” she said.

“Without businesses there is no economy,” said Fanos Leventis, head of the association of owners of recreation centres (Pasika.” He said food and beverage businesses would follow the government measures but in order to do so, “we must remain open.”

They are also asking for government support so that when the pandemic is over or manageable that they can resume business, which is also critical for the economy to recover.

“The businesses need more support on rents, loans, operating expenses,” Leventis said.

The association of gym owners said the decision to suspend the operation of gyms in the Limassol and Paphos districts was “unfair and unjustified” and called for its reversal.

The Director of Atlantas sports club, Demetris Delichristos told the Cyprus News Agency said that this was “an injsustice and illogical,” and that it wasn't possible to operate bars, restaurants, cafes, churches and to hold weddings and baptisms and not allow a child to play sports with social distancing on the track.

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