Ordering the closure of restaurants in hotels is against the Tourism Act, the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA) said on March 18, after the government ordered the move as one of heightened anti-epidemic measures taking effect for 10 days from March 22.
Measures announced by Health Minister Kostadin Angelov earlier on March 18 include that hotels must serve guests in their rooms.
BHRA said in a media statement that instead of shutting hotel restaurants, the government should shut hotels altogether and pay them compensation.
“Hotels cannot be turned into luxury dormitories, forcing our guests to eat in their rooms, which is many times more unhygienic and dangerous,” the association said.
With restaurants in hotels closed, there would be no guests, it said.
“Who will pay staff salaries and business expenses? Who will refund reservations?” BHRA said.
Moreover, when the hotels and restaurants were open only to guests of the accommodation in compliance with all security measures, no increase in the number of people infected with Covid-19 was reported, the staement said.
“We expect the government to immediately announce and pay compensation for businesses and hotel employees, and to pay compensation for the current closure and so far promised and delayed payments to all catering and entertainment facilities and their staff, otherwise we shall lost trust in the people who made this decision. and we will protect our rights by all legal means,” BHRA said.
Separately, Richard Alibegov, co-chairperson of the Bulgarian Association of Restaurants, told local media that the health authorities should give an assurance that the closure of restaurants would be for only 10 days.
The state should provide compensation for the affected business and employees, Alibegov said.
“There are no employees left. They are leaving en masse. We opened and supplied everything 10 days ago, now we are closing again.
“Our business is against the closure, but since this is necessary in order to preserve the health of Bulgarians, it should at least close everything, not just restaurants,” Alibegov said.
The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.
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