Sunday, August 1

Outrage in the hospitality industry for the cut in capacity that they consider a “concealed closure”

Public occupying the tables of a hospitality establishment in the center of Alicante.
Manuel R. Sala

Indignation total among the hoteliers of the province to learn about the new anticovid measures of the Consell, which reduce capacity from the terraces of bars and restaurants to half and a third inside the establishments. The sector claims to be in a state of shock, speaks of a nightmare and a blow to receive at the beginning of a weekend, with full refrigerators and customer reservations already made, these new restrictions that in principle will be in force for a month. Until now, restaurateurs could install 100% of the terraces with distance between diners and within the premises, 75% of customers could remain.

The hotel management association maintains that these measures «make non-viable the operation of the activity of the establishments and drag the companies into an unsustainable situation ”. In a statement, the Business Confederation of Hospitality and Tourism of the Valencian Community (Conhostur) explained that “once again, we learned about the measures at the doors of a weekend, with organized workforce activity and purchases and reservations carried out ”.

The employers attack the lack of dialogue between the Administration and the business sector, to which it proposes such restrictive measures «without consulting or advising to the employers of the sector ”, and they are very critical of other impediments such as the lack of aid for these companies, which are not eligible for the ERTE for workers either. “It is a covert closure that leaves entrepreneurs adrift without any compensation.” They demand a rescue plan like those of Germany and France, where companies have been closed, “but they have been compensated directly to keep the business fabric and workers’ contracts alive.”

The Confederation belongs to the Business Federation of Hospitality of the Province of Alicante (Fehpa), which considers that with these cuts they want to end the sector. Emi Ortiz, manager of the entity, abounds in that there is no no compensatory measure on the horizon, “there are restaurants that will have a capacity of 18 people and ten workers, that is unfeasible. They are teasing us in a way that I don’t know where we are going to come out. It is a disaster”.

The chef César Anca, president of the Alicante Restaurant Association (ARA), spoke of “total and brutal outrage. It is a nightmare that never ends. At a third of the capacity, no business is viable. Thus, we cannot even negotiate with the landlord the rent of the premises as it could be done in the event of a total closure. In his opinion, the Consell legislates “without having a clue. Opening like this is opening at a loss because we continue to generate expenses. She is a scoundrel and a slob, ”he said.

In the province, hospitality companies will have to face these cuts by bearing the same costs of business activity. “This limitation leaves the hospitality industry in a total neglect situation and puts thousands of jobs at risk. We demand an urgent meeting with the President of the Generalitat to address the situation, “claimed Conhostur.

Ximo Puig said that a permanent dialogue is being maintained with the hospitality sector, and that ERTE and aid to the sector continue “to the extent possible and coordinated with all the institutions.” The president put health as a “top priority at this time” and explained that “it is the experts who advise limiting interaction in bars and restaurants.” In any case, he stressed that the activity of these premises in the Community continues, something that in other places “does not happen. We think that it can be maintained if there is distance, a mask and with the correct ventilation.

Regarding banquet halls the capacity is further limited leaving it in 15 people indoors and 25 outdoors, which makes its activity impossible, although late yesterday Health introduced an additional measure to allow celebrations during this weekend in which it can be proven that the services of hotels and restaurants. The measure that limits these celebrations, therefore, will come into effect at 00:00 on November 9.

Alicante hoteliers denounce that the new restriction decree prevents them from feeding their customers. “We do not understand the need to eliminate self-service or buffet services when other establishments are allowed to have food in similar sanitary conditions, nor can we understand that those who attend a meeting in a hotel lounge cannot have restaurant services”, criticized the provincial association.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *