The Balearic government and employers associations have started talks about the reopening of bar and restaurant interiors. The government had promised the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB) and the Pimem federation of small to medium-sized businesses that there would be discussions, with the closure of interiors currently extended until at least May 10. At present, there is no indication when interiors will reopen.
The opening of terraces from 8pm to 10.30pm from Monday to Thursday, which came into effect on Monday, is not a measure that convinces the employers, who have consistently pointed out that some 80% of bars and restaurants do not have terraces.
The presidents of the restaurants associations with the CAEB and Pimem, Alfonso Robledo and Eugenia Cusí, have sent their proposals to Rubén Castro, the director of the Balearic Institute of Labour Health and Safety, a department which comes under the employment and tourism minister, Iago Negueruela. Cusí says that her association welcomes the government's commitment to discussing proposals, but stresses that no decisions have been made yet.
The government is reluctant to allow interiors to reopen as it fears an increase in infections. Last week, Negueruela stated that the shared objective of the government, unions and employers, who agreed to the latest measures at the social dialogue table, was that UK holiday travel to the islands from May 17 is not harmed. Maintaining a good health situation is key to this.
Pimem has requested that normal operations restart from May 10 and that these are in accordance with activity licences. "We need to work and to have reactivation."
Robledo, for his part, proposed last week that a reservation system be introduced to allow the reopening of interiors. He insists that as well as being able to operate inside premises, the evening hours of 8pm to 10.30pm should apply to weekends.
Although there has been a reasonable response to the evening opening, Robledo and Cusí are both of the view that "it is not operative" and will not benefit many restaurants, which - despite having outdoor space - are choosing not to open.