Restaurant terrace in Palma, Mallorca

Certain restrictions were lifted last Sunday.

13-05-2021Miquel A. Cañellas

The president of the restaurants association within the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Alfonso Robledo, says that "we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel". Last Sunday was the first day that terraces could remain open all day until 10.30pm. Five months of heavy restrictions were being eased.

This coming weekend it will be possible to have dinner; the first weekend since the middle of December. Interiors are still closed, but they are due to open from May 23. So far this year, interiors have been open for just two weeks, but not in the evenings.

The vice-president of the restaurants association within the Pimem federation of small to medium-sized businesses, Helmut Clemens, has reiterated that 70% of establishments do not have terraces. Even so, the recent relaxation has been "good news" for those which do have terraces. Capacities are 100%, but tables are still limited to four people.

Last Sunday, Robledo adds, was "good". So was the weather. The elimination of the break between 5pm and 8pm, he explains, has had a notable impact in parts of Mallorca where there is a high foreign resident population, such as Puerto Portals and Pollensa. This is a customer base which tends to go out from around 6pm for dinner.

Mallorcan customers are more likely to go out at weekends, so if the weather is fine this weekend, business should be as well, although - as Robledo notes - it depends on location. In tourist areas there is more supply than demand. In the interior, the benefits are more evident. But Clemens warns that these benefits remain minimal - turnover is 40 to 50 per cent lower than before the pandemic.

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