After 38 days with takeaway food as the only lifeline, bars and restaurants are once again serving dishes and canes inside (at least 30% of capacity) and refilling customer terraces. . However, the sectors most affected by the Government’s restrictions – in addition to others such as trade, sport and culture – are already calling for the acceleration of the recovery plan planned by the Generalitat to overcome the losses that drag since the second wave of the pandemic began. From the restoration they warn that, with the capacity escaped, for many premises it will still be difficult to achieve to be profitable, no matter how much they maintain the letter of the ERTO.
“We are aware that 20% of the premises will not reopen, and it could be up to 30%,” Jordi Roca, president of the Sabadell Restoration Guild, told ACN yesterday. A recurring complaint in recent days is that many establishments do not have a terrace and have few tables, so they will hardly notice the first stretch of the dam. It will not be until the second stage – on December 7, if the contagion data evolves positively – when they will be able to open with 50% of the capacity inside. Always with the schedule that marks the curfew, that is, from 6 am to 9.30 pm. Precisely for this reason, the employers in the Fecasarm sector – which considers the timetable to be “insufficient and arbitrary” – are asking for it to be extended to 11 pm and, progressively, to be extended to 1 am.
The pressure to accelerate deescalation is not limited to gauging. For bars and restaurants in coastal and mountain townships, the perimeter confinement of weekends is an even more important brake on business. Many live on weekend getaways from customers in other parts of Catalonia, but despite the start of the climb, they will not be able to attend to this audience from Friday to Sunday.
“We need immediate movement between provinces, without mobility the measures are useless,” said Francesc ACado, president of the Association of Hospitality Entrepreneurs of Tarragona (AEHT). From the employer argue that with the limitation of 30% and the impossibility of moving to other municipalities on weekends, the hospitality industry will continue to be affected, as the measures will only serve to “minimize costs”, and in no case earn money”.
The trade of some beach municipalities is experiencing a similar situation. Perimeter confinement is also punishing shops in towns like Platja d’Aro, which depend on tourism to keep the shutter up. Hotels add to this criticism of the Government, as with the perimeter confinement they cannot take advantage of the weekend trips of the local tourist, after a summer with a drop in visitors.
If there is one sector that has made clear its anger at being left out of lifting some restrictions, it is that of nightlife. The guild already organized a protest on Saturday in the form of an open-air disco in Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona. The employer Fercasarm insists that the rooms should be reopened, initially with tables and chairs.
The sector has its sights set on a very specific date, New Year’s Eve, and proposes to the Government to apply a special schedule on this occasion. For now, customers are looking for alternatives and on Saturday the Guàrdia Urbana arrested 80 people in a party without masks or social distance on the mountain of Montjuïc.