Action Against Commercial Restrictions

Arguing that the measures applied by the government directly harm employees and owners of restaurants and bars, a group of businessmen in Guatemala filed a legal action in the Constitutional Court.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Restrictions to productive activity have already been applied for days, since with the purpose of promoting actions aimed at interrupting the epidemiological chain of the Covid-19 disease, on April 17 Ministerial Agreement 87-2021 was published in the Diario de Centroamerica, a regulatory framework that requires a 25% reduction in the capacity of shopping centers, shopping malls, convenience stores and restaurants.

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The restrictions have already affected restaurants and bars in the country, since according to estimates of the Gremial de Restaurantes de la Camara de Comercio de Guatemala, during the weekend the attendance to restaurants was reduced from 70% to 35% due to the capacity, while liquor sales fell from 21% to 6%, due to the application of the Ley Seca.

In this context, a group of businessmen took legal action against these provisions. Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "... a group of businessmen filed an appeal in the Constitutional Court (CC) against the provisions of the Government that limit the capacity and hours in restaurants and bars in the country."

The group of businessmen argued that "... through the implementation of these dispositions, abuses and overreach are generated derived from the dispositions taken by the President and the Minister of Health -Amelia Flores-, which goes against the constitutional order, causing a violation of the Constitution, the applicable laws and international treaties on Human Rights."

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More on this topic

Commercial Restrictions: Losses Increase

April 2021

As a result of the restrictions imposed by the Guatemalan Government, local businessmen estimate that sales in the commercial sector last weekend fell by up to 50% and the number of customers in restaurants and shopping centers decreased considerably.

In order to promote actions aimed at interrupting the epidemiological chain of the Covid-19 disease, Ministerial Agreement 87-2021 was published on April 17 in the Diario de Centroamerica, a regulatory framework that requires a 25% reduction in the capacity of shopping malls, commercial centers, convenience stores and restaurants.

Restaurants and Cost of Restrictions

January 2021

Following the announcement of the restrictions imposed in Guatemala to mitigate the outbreak of covid-19, which contemplate the closing of restaurants after 9:00 pm, businessmen anticipate that sales will fall and that they will have to reduce the number of personnel hired.

According to Ministerial Agreement 08-2021 of the Ministry of Public Health, restaurants located inside shopping centers must close as from 19:00 hours and those operating outside these places may serve their customers until 21:00 hours.

Pandemic: Court Suspends Restrictions

August 2020

After the Municipality of the head of the province of San Marcos, in Guatemala, decreed several trade restrictions to contain the advance of covid-19, the Constitutional Court decided to suspend them.

The country's highest court in constitutional matters heard the case after the Chamber of Commerce filed an action for protection against the provisions of the municipal corporation of the capital city of San Marcos, which were published on August 11 and are contained in Act 73-2020.

Bono 14 Payment: Agreement Suspended in Guatemala

July 2020

The Constitutional Court provisionally suspended the agreement that allowed companies that currently do not have the economic capacity to comply with the payment of the Annual Bonus, to reconcile the amortization of the obligation with the employees.

The agreement of the Ministry of Labor (Mintrab) 250-2020, which was published in the Diario de Centroamérica on July 10, stipulates that in order to postpone the payment of the Bono 14, employers who are not in a position to do so due to the economic crisis resulting from the outbreak of covid-19, could make an application to the Ministry.

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