translated from Spanish: Food sector calls for restaurants to be able to operate in phase 2

The president of the Chilean Association of Gastronomy (Achiga), Máximo Picallo, asked the Government to allow the country’s restaurants to operate in Phase 2 of Transition, due to the complex landscape facing the sector. Picallo warned that the situation is extremely critical, especially in the southern part of the country, where many communes remain in the confinement stage (phase 1 and 2), which prevents food venues from being able to function, when the peak season of the tourism sector has begun. A significant number of companies in the field see as the last option to be able to stay alive, open during the summer months, since they cannot continue without income for longer or sustain themselves in the coming months.” This is not only a major economic activity that is being severely affected by the effects of the pandemic, but there are entire individuals and families here who depend on restaurants being able to function, and who are now affecting their quality of life by not having a remuneration to sustain themselves,” Picallo said.” We have seen the peaceful demonstrations of many restaurant owners and workers in tourist destinations in Biobío, La Araucanía, Los Lagos, Magallanes and other areas, which chart the desperation they are experiencing right now, after long months of not being able to open. Our call is for the government to take charge of this situation and allow food venues to return to work in communes that are in phase 2, especially now that summer begins, as the only option for them to be saved from closure,” said the president of Achiga. In this line, Picallo asked the Executive for understanding and empathy, as well as banking, to extend the payment of Covid credits in the face of the difficulty of gastronomic companies in generating revenue and paying the financial commitments made to maintain the current crisis. The trade union representative stated that “while in the Metropolitan Region we have been able to re-operate normally, in different regions of the country that is not happening and we need to make that reality visible, so that the authorities would pay attention to what was happening there and allow the operation in phase 2 by adopting all the health guards that the food industry has implemented to function , avoiding risks of contagion.” It should be noted that because of the harsh weather, southern restaurants require special protocols to operate, particularly now, where most are playing in these three months the revenue of the year,” he said. From Achiga they expect an early government pronouncement in the face of this phase 2 opening request, considering that summer officially begins in three more weeks.

Original source in Spanish

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