Cox’s Bazar Hotel and Restaurants have called on the government to offer urgent financial help after the people was advised to avoid social gatherings, in what could be a death knell for restaurants and leisure businesses across the country.
Different ministries directed the public to practice “social distancing” by staying at home rather than eating out or visit for leisure in a bid to delay the spread of the coronavirus.
He capital and major cities in particular should be cautious about attending venues or small gatherings as the spread of the disease is around two weeks more advanced in the capital.
Many businesses are already struggling with a sharp decline in footfall and will have to lay off staff in the coming days.
“This is catastrophic for businesses and jobs,” Abu Ishaque, a owner of a large hotel said.
“No gathering directives have shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.” Ishaque added.
Hospitality venues in Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban had already reported a 60 per cent drop in year on year footfall on Monday and some firms are around a month away from running out of cash.
Meanwhile, all multiplex venues including the Bashundhara, Modhumita, Balaka Cineplex announced they may not continue show if visitors avoid continues.
The hospitality and leisure sector has called on the government to step in urgently to relieve some of the financial pressure on businesses, including business rates cuts, rent holidays and covering staff salaries.
Abul Hashim, another owner of a restaurant at Cox’s Bazar called that “The Government must urgently step in and provide a package of support for our sector which employs nearly a million people in all parts of the Bangladesh.”