THE pub experience is going to be ‘dramatically’ different after reopening as Spain edges towards the next phase in its emergency lockdown. Bar and live music venue owners from the Costa Blanca to the Costa del Sol are worried that proposed social distancing measures signal the death knell for their industry.
Uncertainty surrounds the industry as to just how it can survive with 50 per cent capacity and the fact that business owners will have to lay off half of their workforce because of this.
Other EU states have fared no better in this respect, some have allowed bars and cafes to open then swiftly closed them as infections spiked, just how can bar owners here in Spain open and make a living with all the rules applied?
Let’s take Ireland as an example, it is due to allow bars and cafes to reopen under phase three, commencing June 29, they will have to adhere to a host of requirements if they want to open and serve the public.
- dispense-only bars, with no sitting, standing, ordering, payment or drinking at the bar itself
- customers must be seated at tables at all times, with table service provided
- no more than four people per every 10 sqm
- a maximum of six people allowed at one table
- customers using hand sanitiser before entry
- staff to be trained to maintain a safe distance from customers when taking orders and washing hands every half an hour
- outdoor spaces must ‘enhance’ social distancing
- no live music or DJs
- safe use of toilets, which may include limits on the number of customers using toilets at any one time
Gardaí (police) or the HSE will have the power to close any business who is flouting the public health guidelines. The government believes that under these strict guidelines, pubs should be allowed to reopen on June 29 instead of August 10.
Of course, this is just an example and doesn’t mean Spanish business owners will have to implement all these requirements. Trading would, of course, be ‘extremely difficult’ under these guidelines, even so, the pub ‘experience’ across Spain is going to drastically change. TW