Restaurants to close in protest over losses suffered due to Covid-19 guidelines

Sea House restaurant in Malé City | Photo: Corporate Maldives

Male’, Maldives —The Restaurant Association of Maldives (REM) has informed that the restaurants and cafe’s in the Male’ area have decided to close and protest over the great losses they have suffered due to the protective measures placed in the area to protect the citizens from Covid-19.

The Founding member of REM, Nuzair Ali spoke to local media ‘Mihaaru’ and stated that they have decided to protest after the government failed to provide a proper solution for the losses incurred by restaurants and cafés despite their several requests.

Nuzair stated that although REM has not decided when to start the protest, they have already decided to continue the protests until the government finds an appropriate solution for the problems that all restaurant and café owners in Male’ area are facing during these trying times.

The Health Protection Agency have placed strict measures in the Male’ area due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, especially in the capital Male’ city. These include a vehicle ban starting from 18:00 along with an banning in dine services in restaurants and cafés after 20:00 every night.

The owners of the restaurants and cafés have noted several times that banning dine in services at that hour has caused great losses for their businesses.

According to Founding member of REM, Nuzair, night time is the most profitable time for restaurants, however, the changes brought to the Covid-19 guidelines referring that the virus is spread through restaurants and eateries has caused the eating venues to suffer great losses.

Nuzair stated that if things continue to go this way, then it is highly likely for majority of the places to permanently close down after the upcoming month.

They are saying that the virus is spread through restaurants. But almost every place is adhering to the HPA guidelines while providing services. Why don’t you show proof that the virus is spreading in Maldives due to restaurants?

Nuzair, Founding Member of REM

Nuzair stated that at present even most of the places are going in losses, while the largest restaurant chain in Male’ suffered a loss of MVR 9 million. Nuzair stated that the owners urge the government to find an appropriate solution to solve these issues.

Although HPA had banned in dine services in restaurants and cafés, they have allowed delivery services at night time till 10:30 despite the vehicle ban. However, Nuzair has informed that as each place gets a maximum of two passes for delivery services, the services cannot be provided properly either.

Several leading members of REM have so far spoken to the HPA, Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed and even the President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih regarding the difficulties and losses the restaurants and cafe’s have to endure due to the Covid-19 protective measures. However, Nuzair has noted that it appears like the higher authorities have not considered this matter as a serious issue.