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Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants in Lebanon seeks to relax smoking ban

16-6-2020

The Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs and Patisseries in Lebanon is bracing for submitting a complete file including corona-related prevention rules that allow smoking and shisha services at Lebanese eateries. The plan, at the same time, is reportedly keen on protecting smoking and non-smoking customers as well as the interests of various tourist facilities similar to Arab and world countries. To this effect, the Syndicate issued a statement on June 11 noting that, since March 27, it has held a series of meetings with concerned officials to regulate Law 174 which bans smoking in closed public places and play fair with hospitality institutions to mitigate the impact of said law on the tourism sector. The Syndicate clarified that it has drafted an amendment to the law with lawmakers and judges at the Shura Council to this end, revealing that the proposal is currently with MP Yassin Jaber, head of the Law Enforcement Follow Up Committee to be discussed soon in the Legislature. From the Syndicate’s viewpoint, the present law does not take into consideration the preferences of the Arab culture nor the unique features related to the Arab Gulf tourism and the labor market associated with it that Lebanon largely invest in. According to the statement, there are around 2500 Lebanese and oriental themed restaurants and cafes in Lebanon employing tens of thousands of workers. (Al Diyar, June 12, 2020)

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