Hospitality staff protest extension of covid closures


Photo: Matic Zorman 

On Saturday, a few hundred owners and workers from the hospitality sector organised a protest in Luxembourg City in light of the extension of restaurant and bar closures. 

During a press conference on Friday, prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) and health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) announced an extension until at least 21 February of the current restrictions in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in the grand duchy. 

These measures also include the closure of bars, cafés and restaurants, which have been unable to receive customers since 26 November. 

Non-essentials shops, cultural venues and the like were able to reopen on 11 January, after a forced three-week closure. Earlier this month, hospitality staff had already staged a protest in front of the Chamber of Deputies, calling on the government to reconsider its decision and allow restaurants, bars and cafés to reopen under strict hygiene concepts. 

The renewed extension announced last week--with health minister Lenert not ruling out that the closures could last even longer--is only adding more fuel to the fire as many restaurateurs, unable to work or trying to keep their head above water with delivery and takeaway options, are struggling with the financial repercussions and the ubiquitous uncertainty of how the situation will evolve.