Restaurants & bars closing in Palma. | Jaume Morey

The Government’s decision to close the interior spaces of bars and restaurants in Mallorca could lead to the loss of thousands more jobs in the Catering Sector, according to CAEB.

"Between the jobs that will be lost forever and the high reduction in hours for contract staff, more than 8,000 jobs will go,” it said.

CAEB also claims that 90% of the Sector is losing money because of the coronavirus crisis and at least 600 hospitality companies will close down forever.

"Mallorca wouldn’t be able to withstand a fourth wave of Covid-19, it would be the last straw for more than 60% of the Sector and 50% of jobs would go," said a CAEB Spokesperson. "More than 70% of the Balearic Restaurant and Hospitality Industry Sector is practically closed."

CAEB said it accepts the measures implemented by the Government, but stressed that direct financial aid is needed and has submitted a document to the Government, the Consell Mallorca and Palma City Council outlining a battery of “measures and aid for the Sector, as a vulnerable group, during and after the coronavirus crisis.”

The measures include a 50% exemption in Emaya bills in 2021; a 100% discount on the occupation of public roads tax in 2021; a bonus in the self-employed quota; the extension of ERTE until June 2021; a 50% reduction in the withholding tax on rents or a 50% exemption from the payment electricity and gas taxes in 2021 and 2022 and the lifting of the smoking ban on terraces.

“We are very aware of the difficulty that the Restaurant and Commercial Sector is going through, especially when mobility is paralysed and capacity restrictions are affecting consumption,” said PIMEM, adding that it supports the Government's measures “despite the negative repercussions for Small and Medium sized businesses and the self-employed in the short term,” and stressed that “the medium-term objective must be to control the pandemic and boost economic recovery, because there is no another formula.”