Let us open inside as well, say owners. | José Manuel Vidal

The restaurants association within the Pimem federation of small to medium-sized businesses and the Arema Mallorca restaurants association are demanding that bar and restaurant interiors are reopened from next Monday (April 26).

The president of the Pimem association, Eugenia Cusí, said at a Monday press conference that the Balearic government must apply health regulations equally. There is discrimination as restaurants inside hotels can open, whereas bars and restaurants are only allowed to open terraces.

Hotels, she observed, can have their interior facilities open up to midnight and with capacity of forty to seventy per cent, depending on ventilation. "These guidelines are being used for hotel interiors, but it makes no sense to discriminate against the restaurant sector when there is no health justification."

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Cusí accused the government of abandoning the restaurant sector and called for there to be a safe protocol to allow the reopening of interiors and for representatives from the sector to be involved in decision-making that affects their businesses.

Jaume Colombás of Arema said that the sector has been "demonised". "For humanitarian reasons", interiors should be reopened. Business owners need to be able to pay their costs. Cusí added that the sector is being "destroyed" and that businesses have lost 80% of turnover and 30% of jobs. Since the pandemic began, 40% have been forced to close. Despite what the government says, Cusí argued that the government is "not contributing anything" to the operation of bar and restaurant businesses.

With regard to the latest planned protest against the closure of interiors, which is due to be on Thursday outside Palma town hall, Cusí and Colombas said that they did not endorse this. "It will be dangerous, as people are very angry."