Ministry of Economy Wants to Talk with CANIRACBy Jan Hogewoning | Tue, 01/12/2021 - 17:40
After multiple restaurant chains in the capital city opened their dining areas yesterday despite being forbidden to do so under the red-light restrictions, the Ministry of Economy announced that it is creating a channel of communication with the National Chamber of Restaurants and the Condiment Foods Industry (CANIRAC) to explore more aid instruments for the sector. The situation reached a climax with several restaurant chains publishing announcements on social media that their dining areas were now open. This was preceded by weeks of petitions from restaurants, represented by different groups, calling for the Mexico City government to recognize the restaurant industry as essential and to allow indoor dining at 30 percent capacity. The cry for help, symbolized by the hashtag #AbrimosoMorimos on social media, echoed in other parts of the country as well.
While the ministry did not specify how it would aid restaurants further, it did call upon restaurants to keep following the rules stipulated by the traffic-light system, Forbes writes. The current ban on indoor dining in the metropolitan area of Mexico City was enforced on Dec. 19 and for now is to remain at least until January 17. MBN reported yesterday that Claudia Sheinbaum, Governor of Mexico City, vowed this weekend not to give in to demands from restaurant groups that she considers are trying to ‘politicize’ the pandemic. She emphasized that some restaurant groups had approached her demanding more aid or a label as an ‘essential activity’, while others had not.
CANIRAC sounded the alarm when it published a survey that indicated that eight out of 10 restaurants would go out of businesses in the next weeks. It also indicated that by the end of 2020, 122,000 restaurants had gone out of business across the country, leading to the loss of 450,000 jobs. While expressing its concerns for the situation, CANIRAC has also accused the informal restaurant sector of aggravating the situation by not properly obeying the rules stipulated by the government.
COVID-19 is raging across Mexico City. In a press conference this Monday, Sheinbaum stated that 90 percent of the available hospital beds are currently occupied. She described the situation as the ‘worst-case scenario’.