Blog post by Marica Micallef
When I read local news portals in order to get acquainted with any changes that our local authorities have decided to come up with, I often feel that I am either living a nightmare or that I became part of the famous story of Alice in Wonderland, this time round it is about Marica living in a Lalaland called Malta.
On reading that restaurants and snack bars will reopen as from May 10, I am happy for the restaurant owners and employees. They can finally restart earning an income. People, on the other hand, can restart lunching or dining out.
But there a hitch in all this. The opening time is being limited to 5pm. Is this the joke of the year or fake news? What do all those who work in restaurants have to say? What are the thoughts of restaurant owners? Don’t they feel that the authorities are pulling their leg?
Since Dr Fearne said that they are being guided by science when it comes to not re-opening the gyms, can I ask Dr Fearne what type of science is behind this argument? What type of science is enabling you not to be consistent? In the beginning, restaurants were allowed to be open till midnight; then the time came down to 11pm and now to 5pm! The only scientific answer that the authorities can come up with are “For your safety” and “To curb the pandemic”.
While restaurants are being allowed to remain open till 5pm, this does not apply to supermarkets which can remain open till 7pm and some can even stay open till a later time. Last summer restaurants were allowed to remain open till late but now they are factiously kept open till 5 pm. The argument that the authorities are bringing forth – so to avoid crowds of people gathering together – does not hold, because in supermarkets, one finds a larger amount of people than in restaurants. The same argument stands for open markets where crowds gather and which were given the go-ahead to re-start.
The same argument holds for the hairdressing and beauty salons. Can someone explain to me how come a bank cashier cannot go to the hairdresser but the hairdresser can be given a service by the bank cashier at the bank, while both can be together at a supermarket?
Secondly, what kind of science is this to allow restaurants to open till 5pm, and at the same time, the authorities think that their owners can still make a profit! Common sense has it that the majority of people have a 9 to 5 job. So, the automatic question is: Will restaurant owners make profit with this new time slot? The answer is no.
The fact that the government is already hinting that the opening hours of restaurants may be extended confirms that this reasoning is not being led by science!