Pubs demand smoking ban details
(CS/DL) While an extended smoking ban is set to come into effect on January 1, 2014, pub and bar owners have complained that they are still lacking key information on how to implement the new regulation.
Gastronomy sector federation Horesca commented that many bars and Luxembourg's local cafés are preparing to install so-called “fumoirs”, or smoking booths; however, the official regulation has still not been released, leaving them in the dark as to how to proceed.
According to Horesca, installing a “fumoir” comes at a cost of around 10,000 to 15,000 euros and many pub owners are hesitant to spend this kind of money now, when they cannot even be sure that the refurbishment will comply with regulations later on.
On the other hand, they argue, construction needs to be started soon, in order for everything to be ready by January 1.
Additionally, Horesca warns that there will be an increase in noise on the streets, as more customers will flock outside to have a smoke. This not only decreases revenue for the bars, Horesca said, but will also increase noise pollution.
Roofed terraces or tents outside could help, Horesca said, but here too regulation is missing.
Ministry wants to be helpful
Health Minister Mars Di Bartolomeo meanwhile has said that the regulation will be released as soon as possible, and that it is on Tuesday's agenda of the state council.
Di Bartolomeo argued that the summer break and the early elections had caused the delay.
However, he also said that not smoking in pubs and bars should be the rule and not the exception, and therefore does not see a reason to delay the implementation of the smoking ban.
He also assured that the Health Ministry would assist bar owners as much as possible with transition.
As far as changes to the outdoor space are concerned, Di Bartolomeo said that this is the responsibility of the individual communes.