Although it comes as no surprise, the curfew has been extended until the 12th of April, despite the sudden drop in the number of new infections. However, the Regional Governments decision has been met with dismay by the Funchal Association of Commerce and Industry – Madeira Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACIF- CCIM), who maintain that the continuation of the curfew and the damage caused by last Saturday’s storm is just making the situation for restaurants and bars intolerable.
Expressing his concern, the President of ACIF-CCIM, Jorge Veiga França, wrote to the President of Madeira, requesting a review of the imposed curfew, suggesting that it be extended to 21:00 hours to help mitigate the dire circumstances that many food and beverage outlets are suffering.
Responding to this, Madeiran President, Miguel Albuquerque, replied that the Regional Government monitors and takes decisions every two weeks regarding the repercussions of the pandemic in line with the guidance provided by the health authority and that, with the opening of schools, it was not convenient to lighten curfew regulations.“
Obviously not impressed by this Jorge Veiga França replied by saying, “I understand that the President of Madeira has to implement a policy that protects the island, and that this policy was agreed. I also understand that the health authorities also have an added responsibility. However, surely it would be possible to relax the curfew a little to help restaurants and the like survive, especially if non-compliance is dealt with immediately. The sad fact of life is that people will always flout the rules, but should the whole sector be forced to starve and die for the few who cannot control themselves.“
But surely we need to strike a balance between education and employment. What is the point of having a well educated population, if there are no employment opportunities.
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