Tighter restrictions for restaurants in the Balearic Islands. archive photo. | Ultima Hora

Balearic restaurateurs are furious about the tighter restrictions which ban customers from smoking on bar and restaurant terraces and reduce capacity to 50% indoors and outdoors.

"We are not the focus of the outbreaks," said CAEB President, Alfonso Robledo and PIMEM President Eugenia Cusí who both complained bitterly about the new restrictions.

It seems to me a barbarity, they’re always attacking us,” said Robledo.

“Instead of transmitting confidence and a message that the measures are being complied with in bars and restaurants, they are generating the opposite effect,” said Cusí.

Both CAEB and PIMEM insist that bars and restaurants are safer than the interiors of some homes and complain that they are being singled out.

"The closure of bars and restaurants, first at 02:00 and then at 01:00 has been proven to be ineffective. In Playa de Palma the Police are inspecting bar and restaurant premises, which we are not opposed to, but people who are drinking illegally a few metres away are unpunished."

Closures

Restaurants and bars have been completely devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and these new restrictions could be the last straw for some.

"These decisions will really affect us, because if a customer cannot smoke on the terrace, they will drink coffee at home," said Cusí who added that since President Francina Armengol announced the new restrictions on Wednesday "many business owners are considering closing."

CAEB and PIMEM estimate that 30% of bars and restaurants in the Balearic Islands will be forced to close down permanently before the end of the year.

The reduction in capacity of 50% doesn't mean paying less taxes," says Robledo, "which makes business even less viable."