The State of Alarm officially comes to an end in Spain on May 9 - this Sunday - and a growing number of bars and restaurants are preparing to open fully for businesses, what ever extensions to the current the Balearic government tries to enforce.
A number of leading Palma restaurant owners, especially those whose establishments are located inside hotels, told the Bulletin yesterday that this is the crunch moment.
“Go for it”
“The hotel in which we are located has been doing very well over the past few months, so we have been able to cater for guests inside, while only being permitted to open the terrace to non guests but now that the State of Alarm is being lifted, we have decided to go for it,” one restaurant owner explained.
“We have planned to reopen in the middle of May and, while as things stand we can only open the terrace to non guests during the week for lunch and diner and only lunch on the weekend, which is ridiculous considering we are a top end establishment in a quality boutique hotel where Covid protocol can be enforced at all times.
“So, we’ve done our numbers are confident that, while we can cater for hotel guests inside, we can also cater for normal clients on the terrace, that said, there will, at time be room inside.
“However, since we announced we are going to reopen next week, we’re already fully booked, so yes, it’s time to go for it.
“It’s live or die for the whole industry now and while we’ve been forced to watch hotels operate as usual, we have been prevented from opening interiors.
“It’s not fair and has done our industry a lot of damage - quite a few have not made it this far, they’ve been forced to close.
“We’ve got no idea what the Balearic government is really going to do, we know that want to continue with certain restrictions but with the State of Alarm being lifted, they are going to face a major back lash if they call it wrong.
“Many of Palma and Majorca’s top end quality hotels and rural establishments have been doing very well and now that dining is allowed in the evening, albeit only during the week, hotel restaurants have been enjoying good businesses from guests.
Take a punt
“But, I know that many are going to take a punt and go for it, they’ve got no choice, it’s make or break and the government has got to take notice of this and stop messing the sector around.
“Their argument for not being able to dine out on weekends is not properly grounded and lifting that would ease herding during the week,” restaurant sector sources told the Bulletin.
The Small Businesses association PIMEM and the association of Mallorcan Restaurateurs (Arema) have demanded that the Balearic government allows bars and restaurants in Mallorca to open inside to clients “with immediate effect”, in view of the fact that the island is now on level two health risk.
In a joint statement the associations has called on the government to respect and comply with its so-called “COVID traffic light” which was approved by the government in November 2020, and that they follow the indications of the guidelines laid out in the Coordinated response actions for the control of the transmission of COVID-19 protocol approved by the Inter territorial Council of the National Health System which was updated to October 22, 2020.
They stressed that after 13 months during which the Balearic restaurant sector has suffered a decrease in turnover of almost 80% and “without any type of compensation or effective financial aid to counteract the unfounded restrictions imposed”, the associations claim that they are the victims of “government discrimination”.