Speaking to Lusa news agency, the president of the national restaurant association PRO.VAR, Daniel Serra, said that business owners have observed that many customers do not wear their mask on the terraces. “In the past few days we have seen what was happening. We [association] received this concern from catering establishments and commerce in general. In catering, it has to do with the use of masks and the fact that customers are not respecting the rules, and many entrepreneurs are asking that, whenever they are not consuming, to keep their mask on. For this reason, we urgently ask for a clarification of the rules in order to avoid a setback in the easing of lockdown,” he said.

According to Daniel Serra, the business owners are unable to impose the use of the mask. “One third of the establishments are operating and two thirds are waiting for 19 April and the 3 May to be able to return to normality and there is a general concern here. Entrepreneurs have their hearts in their hands because they are unable to impose this issue and many clients almost unconsciously end up failing to comply”, he underlined.

For this reason, PRO.VAR asks the Government and the health authorities to clarify the rules for catering and commerce in general, namely the obligation to display them at the entrance of establishments. “We ask that commerce in general and the catering establishments have the obligation to have an indication of the covid rules in the establishments and that does not exist. It is easier for the entrepreneur to enforce if it is posted. We are also talking from the point of view of competition: if it is an obligation, everyone has to comply in the same way, there is no unfair competition. Some comply, others do not and things do not work,” he explained.

According to Daniel Serra, important information such as capacity, basic rules for the use of the mask and disinfection of the hands should be posted. “Basically, there are basic rules that we have been asking for. That all establishments should be obliged to communicate so that this implementation is easier. Entrepreneurs call for a balance between controlling the pandemic and the economy. We do not want to return to a previous situation here. We have had 13 months of enormous difficulty that the sector is facing and it would be catastrophic to confine it again”, he said.