Image credits: Tom Hodgkinson
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News Article

Puebla Restaurants Protest against Extension COVID-19 Decree

By Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 01/13/2021 - 17:07

Yesterday, MBN reported on a survey undertaken by the National Chamber of Restaurants and the Condiment Foods Industry (CANIRAC), where eight out of 10 restaurants surveyed nationwide stated that they would go out of businesses in the next few weeks should lockdowns remain. The pressure on the local government of Mexico City to reallow indoor dining has been building up over the past weeks. On Monday, several restaurant chains with locations in the capital announced that they were reopening for dining guests. Claudia Sheinbaum, the governor of Mexico City, threatened with sanctions. On Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Economy came out with a statement expressing its intention to open a communication channel with CANIRAC to explore more instruments of support for the restaurant sector. Official rules stipulate that restaurants remain closed, with the exception of take away and home delivery, at least until Jan. 17. The Mexico City government has offered MX$2,200 (US$109) as a onetime payment for employees in this sector. However, many restaurant groups have stated that this is not enough.

In Puebla, CANIRAC’s local chapter has warned of the grave financial consequences for restaurants. There, restaurants were expected to be allowed indoor dining again on Jan. 11. However, Governor Miguel Barbosa Huerta has chosen to extend the deadline to Jan. 25. With restaurants unable to open, El Economista writes, they have seen sales drop to between 5 and 8 percent in the past weeks. The ban on indoor dining in this state was instituted on Dec. 29. At the time, the local CANIRAC leader stated that 10,700 businesses, which represent approximately 30 percent of the more than 35,000 businesses in the food and beverage sector in the state, where at risk of closure, without having any certainty if they would reopen again. The organization stated last week on Friday that extending the ban would put 86,000 jobs in the sector at risk. On Friday, CANIRAC in Puebla reported that 450 businesses had shut definitively already.

CANIRAC in Puebla announced that around 2,000 restaurant owners would participate in a cacerolazo, a vocal protest. While they will not hit the streets like protestors did in Mexico City, the restaurant owners are to manifest their displeasure from their restaurant locations. CANIRAC has emphasized that it is seeking more dialogue with the municipal and state government to explore solutions. On Dec. 29, Milenio reported that local restaurants had been open to contributing to the measures to contain the health crisis. At the same time, however, they had expressed their displeasure at the fact that the government had not been able to control saturation of passengers in public transport.   

 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Mexico Business News, Milenio, El Economista, La Jornada de Oriente
Photo by:   Tom Hodgkinson
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst