During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, several industries have been impacted negatively. In both a global and also local context, some of the worst hit are bars and clubs. Considering the nature of how these businesses operate, it is natural to expect that they would be faced with the toughest of restrictions.
In a recent announcement, it was stated that bars and clubs will remain closed until February. It was also announced by the Prime Minister, that a total package consisting of one million Euro will be used to aid bars and clubs.
This may indeed help to cushion the blow as we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With vaccines currently being administered globally, Malta being amongst the leading within the European Union in terms of inoculations per capita, bars and clubs may start to slowly plan a re-opening.
During his announcement, the Prime Minister stated that the details of the state-aid package would follow shortly.
The extension of the legal notice, as announced by the Public Health Superintendent, Charmaine Gauci would prohibit bars and clubs from opening until the 1st February. This follows a concern that cases would spike following the festive season as more people were naturally inclined to meet and mingle. Although the initial plan was to re-open bars, clubs and band clubs in December, out of an abundance of caution, considering that cases have not decreased, it was opted to extend this closure. Although the situation is contained, it was deemed not worth the risk especially as the vaccine is now being rolled out.
Although resilience is indeed a key factor for these businesses, it is important to keep in mind that with each passing day, we are turning the tide against this pandemic. The vaccine is being rolled out to frontliners and vulnerable individuals. Once healthcare workers and the other vulnerable segments are inoculated, the COVID-19 vaccine will become available to the general population. Once the country has reached a certain degree of immunisation, it would be safe to presume that most businesses can aim to continue from where they left off, and bars and clubs are no exception.
Before that however, we may need to wait until the numbers of new infections steadily decrease as more people become immune throughout 2021.
What are your views on all this? Let us know in the comments section below.