LALO DÍEZ, PRESIDENT OF CEOH: “The situation in the sector is totally unsustainable and this weekend there will be bottles in the streets”
The possibility of easing restrictions on nightlife is now in the hands of the Consell, after the central government backed down from its initial position of limiting closing hours to three in the morning. Last Wednesday, as this newspaper published, the president of the Leisure and Hospitality Business Coordination, the Alicante Lalo Diez, announced that they would wait to know the agreement of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System and the subsequent decision of the Valencian Government before appealing the decree. A judicial measure that the employers of the sector in Valencia have already opted for. Well, the members of CEOH met yesterday afternoon in Alicante to take a position after the Ministry of Health has chosen to maintain restrictions in pubs and discos. The meeting lasted several hours and there was no unanimous agreement.
CÉSAR ANCA, PRESIDENT OF ARA: “Nightlife and restaurants are the only allies to control social gatherings”
At the moment, as Lalo Díez explained, legal action will not be taken pending that, in the next week, the Consell authorizes a good part of the measures that the businessmen have been claiming in recent weeks. For now, they have chosen to send the Valencian Executive a document to remind them of all their requests while the legal cabinet that represents them begins to collect all the necessary information in case, finally, they have to go to court to settle the conflict. «We are going to demand that the hours be extended and that customers be allowed to dance, with the members of their nucleus of relationship, in the area of the premises where they are. And, in addition, we are going to demand that all this be included immediately in the next decree of the Consell, as we know that other Autonomous Communities can do in a matter of hours, “explained Lalo Díez.
For the moment, CEOH opts for a cautious position while waiting to know the new resolution of the Generalitat Valenciana. A decree that they await for the next Monday or Tuesday. “At the moment the situation for the sector is completely unsustainable and this weekend there will be bottles when we have to close our businesses at two in the morning”, adds the head of the Coordinator, insisting on pointing out that “in Alicante we are not different to the rest of Spain and that is why we do not understand the comparative injury that we are suffering, especially considering that since March 15 we have the best health data in the country». That is why he considers that the measures that are being applied do not respond to sanitary criteria but to a political and administrative nature.
Last Tuesday, despite the conviction of the Minister of Health of the benefits for nightlife by being able to reopen their premises, the businessmen once again assured that they would appeal the decree of the Consell in the courts if the opening hours are not extended and other limitations are relaxed, as customers can stand and dance inside the establishment. Already then, the head of the Coordinator affirmed that the limitations are “out of place due to the good situation of the Valencian Community and because, without a curfew, the only thing they will achieve is that, when our premises are closed, the bottle and the lack of control it moves to the beaches and the squares ». For the owners of pubs and discos, the Generalitat could perfectly have a thousand leisure companies acting as a containment dam against the virus: with rules and with compliance with measures that are not given in a bottle. For Díaz it is “ridiculous” that the hospitality industry cannot open until 1.30 am and that the establishments cannot recover what is stated in the Entertainment Law, which sets the closure at 3.30 am and 5.30 am, or “at least a similar schedule and staggered ». That is why yesterday he appealed to common sense again. “We know that the virus is still here but we have to take a step further and nightlife will not really reopen, until all the limitations are lowered,” he stresses.
Also César Anca, President of ARA, the Alicante Restaurant Association, has been very critical of the immobility of the public powers. “Health officials do not listen to us, they have been without wanting to listen to us since the pandemic began, but they should know that discos and restaurants are the only allies they have to control social gatherings and provide them with a safe environment.”
It should be remembered that the nightlife sector has been closed for eleven months by decree. And the five that he has been open are subject to restrictions that are forcing him to adapt to a different model of his activity.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.