New restrictions in bars & restaurants force Spaniards to change their dining habits

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Balearic restrictions unfair blow
CRITICISM: Business associations claim restaurants are not the source of outbreaks but are negatively affected by new measures CREDIT: Restauración-Asociación Mallorquina de Cafeterías, Bares y Restaurantes Facebook

New restrictions in bars & restaurants force Spaniards to change their dining habits, as establishments are limited to 50% capacity indoors and 60% outdoors.

The new measures, introduced in Madrid and 9 other cities in the region by the High Court on Friday also mean that bars and restaurants must close their doors at 11pm, accepting the last customers at 10pm.

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With late dining being a long-standing tradition in Spain, many residents are being forced to adapt their dining habits. In a bid to maintain their customer base, many establishments are opening earlier, but within three days of the measures being introduced, hospitality group Hosteleria Madrid reported a loss of €8million and 75’000 dinner reservations cancelled.

Some restaurants have pushed forward their opening hours to 8pm, but while this may attract tourists, Gabriela Sánchez from Levél Veggie Bistro in Madrid explained to El Pais that she doesn’t believe it will change the way Spaniards dine. “As much as you try, you are not going to convince a Spaniard to go out for dinner at 8pm,” she says.

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