BARS and restaurants in Almeria are not happy with what the Spanish government’s lockdown de-escalation plan means for the provincial sector.
“Indignation”, “astonishment”, “general anger”, and “a feeling of being taken to the slaughterhouse” was how ASHAL Almeria Hospitality Business Provincial Association president Diego Garcia described his reaction to Spanish press to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s announcements on Tuesday on the details of the different phases of the de-escalation plans.
Garcia is particularly unhappy about the idea of establishments with terraces only being allowed to have 30 per cent of their maximum amount of customers at any one time.
He said the what had been talked about was a 30 per cent reduction on capacity, with tables well-spaced out, but not a 70 per cent reduction, and that only terraces could open.
“The average for businesses is to have around 10 tables. If we have to open to serve three tables it wouldn’t even pay for the water”, he was reported as saying.
“This plan was created by someone who hates the hospitality sector”, the ASHAL president added.
Garcia said the different hospitality sector associations across Spain are planning “a generalised closure” as “nobody wants to open under these conditions.”
He also pointed out that nothing had been explained about ERTE temporary suspensions of job contracts, expressing concerns that once establishments open their doors this could mean that the employee payments would “fall back on the small businessman.”
On top of this, the ASHAL president complained, there is uncertainty about the measures which bars and restaurants will have to comply with.
He explained that the ICTE Spanish Tourist Quality Institute and the FEMP Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces are currently working on creating an action guide for the whole country, but that this would not be completed for some weeks.