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YEREVAN. – Twenty percent of the public food sector is currently unemployed, whereas the restaurant sector is completely unemployed. Restaurateur and public catering expert Ashot Barseghyan stated this in a conversation with Armenian News-NEWS.am Sunday, referring to the damages suffered in the sector during the coronavirus pandemic in Armenia.

"The sphere of restaurant organization is completely idle at the moment; these are the people who had protested in front of the government building on July 9. If the state of emergency continues and this situation persists, unemployment in the public food sector will reach 40 percent [in Armenia]; this is my assessment of the situation as an expert," he said.

According to the restaurateur, the closed businesses make up 20% of this sector in Armenia. "Closed businesses are of two types: one that are closed forever, and the other that are closed to reopen. We can give a final assessment after the end of the state of emergency," Barseghyan added.

According to him, they are still discussing whether to hold a new demonstration. "The prime minister's spokesperson has responded in the context that if the state of emergency is lifted, it’s all the same; the events will be banned. We want to respond and say that they should maintain the state of emergency in the healthcare sector, whereas let's 'liberalize' our sector, as people are not afraid of being taken to the police, they are not afraid of the pandemic, they are only afraid of not making money," Ashot Barseghyan added.

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