SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 February 2023, Friday |

Lebanon restaurants reopen their doors amid prices hike

More than 55% of Lebanese restaurants locked their doors in 2020, and 20% of what remains were unable to reopen due to the high U.S. dollar exchange rate.

Today, restaurants have reopened their doors while taking precautionary measures, operating at 50% capacity and abiding by a safe distance between tables provided that the number of people sitting on a single table does not exceed six and that the closing time is at 7:00 p.m.

“Last week, we performed PCR tests on all employees. The restaurant operates at a 50% capacity. Only six people can sit on a single table and all employees are following precautionary measures,” one restaurant manager told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Sara Chehade.

“We’re abiding by a safe distance of two meters between tables and by precautionary measures,” another restaurant manager said.

“I hope that the people will go back to restaurants and I think the Lebanese have longed for joy,” he added.

In the southern city of Sidon, restaurant owners stressed that in case the country is placed under lockdown again, they “will stand against these decisions which have turned out to be wrong.” “The spread of the pandemic wasn’t only caused by restaurants.”

“We won’t be abiding by any decision ordering closure as we are unable to bear more,” one manager said. “May God help us and help the people. Companies are refusing to deliver goods to us in Lebanese pounds,” he said when asked about the prices.

Going to restaurants is now only for those who can afford it; prices have changed and the concept of entertainment has been also altered as the Lebanese citizen is now looking for subsidized cooking oil and sugar in supermarkets and waiting in queues to purchase medication and powdered milk for his children.

“The price difference is huge, but we want entertainment after lockdown,” a citizen said, adding that she should save her pocket money to be able to come to a restaurant.

What’s the fate of restaurants that have opened their doors today? Will they be able to resume work in light of this situation?