ANGRY mayors are threatening to close down overcrowded bars in Spain’s Costa Blanca and Murcia areas.
In areas that went through to Phase 1 of reducing the lockdown this week, bars and restaurant terraces were able to reopen with up to 50 per cent of normal capacity.
But there have been a number of reports of numbers far exceeding the legal limits, with police having to intervene in several instances.
The situation has got so bad in one or two areas, especially in the Murcia region, that the mayor of Cartagena has even threatened to shut down all the bars in the municipality due to the reports of law-breaking.
Those are not just threats of temporary closures across the board, but any offending business could also lose their operating licence permanently.
In San Javier, a bar kiosk owner was arrested for having too many people at his tables, whilst police are reporting a number of cases where people are just walking around and drinking alcohol in the street, which is illegal.
Cartagena’s Citizen Security councillor, Eduardo Martínez-Oliva, held a meeting yesterday with the Local Police as well as representatives of the hospitality association Hostemur to coordinate a response to some of the overcrowding incidents.
Martínez-Oliva asked for “the maximum possible collaboration from Hostemur members so that the new laws are followed.”
Police patrols have now been stepped up with the Murcia local force posting on social media; that the “levels of irresponsibility” of some people during Phase 1 of de-escalation “are beginning to be higher than might be expected.”