CEO of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Gabriel Faria, would like to see a shorter curfew period, beginning at midnight instead of the current 9 pm start time, if government does go ahead with its plan to extend the State of Emergency (SoE).
Government has indicated that it plans to go to Parliament on August 25th to extend the SoE for a further three months.
Faria, in an interview with GML, said while the Chamber is not opposed to the extension of the State of Emergency (SoE), they want the Government to make it easier to conduct business for the next three months.
Faria said while they understood the reasons for the extension, “We want to alert the Government to ensure that it respects the rights of the citizens of the country and doesn’t take away their constitutional rights and so on.”
He said: “We are not against the extension. However, we do believe that there are opportunities to look at the curfew hours to allow citizens and businesses to have more latitude with the hours they are allowed to work.”
“Right now businesses are closing earlier than they are supposed to and that actually means consumers have less hours to shop. Even factories are not working at their optimal levels because they are not able to work the normal shifts, which are 6 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 10 pm,” he said.
Faria said moving the curfew hours from 9 pm to midnight instead, will give restaurants, supermarkets and pharmacies an opportunity to serve their customers better and still let their employees get home.”