Cleaning and disinfecting preparation.

08-05-2020Gemma Andreu

Despite town halls allowing bars and restaurants to increase terrace size, the sector doubts that Phase 1 will be profitable, so much so that there will be those establishments which don't open and will wait for when they can make use of interiors.

Those that will be opening on Monday do not see a great benefit from only having terraces with partial capacity. "If you break even or lose a little, it will be considered good," says Antoni Sansaloni, president of the Pimem Minorca Association of Cafés, Bars and Restaurants. "If you open, it is to provide a service; nothing more." Sansaloni is very critical of the lack of information in some municipalities and explains that "many people will wait until later".

"Opening now is only feasible for small businesses with low occupancy capacities," believes José Bosch, president of the CAEB Minorca Hospitality and Restaurant Association. "Taking people out of an ERTE is a delicate thing, and more so when there is so much uncertainty." He doesn't anticipate widespread opening until Phase 3.

"We will try, but the big unknown is how many people will come," says the owner of a bar in the centre of Mahon. All the town halls have shown willingness to allow terraces to increase in size, but this is still subject to municipal bylaws and the health recommendations. There is flexibility, but establishments will still have to ensure, for example, that there is the required area for pedestrian use.

Applications to increase size are being dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In Mahon there are some 120 terraces, while Ciutadella has 260 licences for occupancy of the public way. So bureaucratic processing has to be taken into account, and this doesn't only involve town halls. There is also, in the case of Mahon, the Balearic Ports Authority.

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Good old red tape, the one thing you can count on in a crisis.

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