“We can’t anymore”: the desperate cry of the restaurateurs of the metropolitan area before the red traffic light due to COVID-19

The restaurant industry has been one of the most affected due to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic (FOOTO: ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)
The restaurant industry has been one of the most affected due to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic (FOOTO: ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)

The restaurant industry of the Metropolitan Area of ​​the Valley of Mexico, launched a desperate cry to the authorities to allow them to open their businesses, as they claim, are in danger of disappearing.

Through an open letter addressed to the head of government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum and the governor of the State of Mexico, Alfredo del Mazo, more than 550 businesses in the sector, assured that thousands of establishments are bankrupt due to the restrictions imposed by the authorities before the red traffic light to the high number of infections and hospitalizations in the Valley of Mexico.

“We can’t take it anymore! Today the restaurants have already used up their savings. Restaurants are in danger of disappearing “, they sentenced.

They highlighted that only in the State of Mexico, before the pandemic, there were 70,000 restaurants registered that generated 340,000 direct jobs, but So far, 10,000 establishments have permanently closed, causing the loss of 50,000 direct jobs.

File image (PHOTO: RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP)
File image (PHOTO: RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP)

“It is a slow and painful death because it implies losing the assets of thousands of people and consequently the security of an income for millions of families”, they highlighted.

The businessmen assured that, despite international studies verifying that restaurants are not a source of contagion, the government has forced them to close, a situation that has caused a crisis in the sector.

They affirmed that the current situation is very different from the one experienced at the beginning of last year due to the fact that their savings have been exhausted.

“Thousands of people are being sentenced to unemployment. At the national level, the industry generates 5.6 million direct and indirect jobs. We estimate that 450,000 jobs will have been lost in the country by the end of the year. Only the announcement of the closure of our establishments for three weeks caused an increase of 10% of jobs lost to those already registered “.

They assured that they have not received support of any kind, while throughout the world there have been extensions for the payment of taxes and services.

“You cannot continue to punish the formal economy at the expense of the lack of control of other activities”, since it has been proven that despite being on a red light, informal commerce and private events, such as parties, have been allowed to continue to be carried out “they emphasized.

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They indicated that although in Mexico City support of 2,200 pesos is being granted to some workers, they considered that the best way to guarantee their well-being is with the opening of businesses.

They stressed that the health crisis will still be present for a long time and although the application of vaccines against the virus has already begun, the return to normality is still distant, so the need to undertake a strategy becomes urgent that they define the way that restaurants can operate, even at a red light.

“We are in a crucial moment of survival and we will continue fighting to preserve this industry that the only thing that has generated the country are benefits”, concludes the letter.

On December 18, the authorities of Mexico City and the State of Mexico, together with the federal undersecretary of health, Hugo López-Gatell, announced that both entities would return to the epidemiological red light as of December 19, 2020 and until January 10, 2021, so that only essential activities could have activities with which restaurants are prohibited from serving the public in their businesses and only have the option of selling food at home.

According to the latest official data provided by the federal government’s Ministry of Health, as of Wednesday, January 6, there were 1,443,544 accumulated infections from COVID-19 (13,345 new infections) and 126,851 deaths (1,165 deaths in just 24 hours), which represents a new record in official figures.

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