TEMPORARY HEALTH RESTRICTIONS that forced the closure of bars and restaurants throughout the Valencian Community come to an end next week.
The prohibition was originally introduced on 21st January to combat the spread of COVID-19. For almost six weeks social venues have been able to open their indoor or outdoor spaces to members of the public, with a permitted exception for the provision of takeaway food and drink to be consumed off of the premises.
But Spain's Ministry of Health has confirmed that people will be able to return to the terraces from next Tuesday 2nd March, following confirmation that the current special health measures will remain in force until 23:59 this coming Monday evening.
The reactivation of the hospitality industry will be welcome news for restauranteurs and bar owners across the Costa Blanca, but the relaxation of the restrictions comes with certain caveats designed to ensure the community's recovery from the Coronavirus Pandemic continues.
Bars and restaurants reopen with restrictions from Tuesday 2nd March 2021
Earlier this week industry representatives had requested permission to reopen their businesses with partial use of indoor and outside spaces, and a requirement to be able to trade within the limits of the current curfew and close their premises at 22:00.
Hostelry sector trade associations met with Health Councillor Ana Barceló yesterday (Tuesday) to discuss the measures.
However, Valencian Government authorities have stipulated that the inside public spaces must remain closed, terraces may reopen with 50% of their mandated seating capacity, and terraces must close no later than 18:00 each day.
The president of CONHOSTUR and Hostelería Valencia, Manuel Espinar, said “We were closed when there was an incidence of around 1,500 infections per 100,000 population and we are going to reopen with it below 250 infections.” He added, “it is inappropriate that health authorities want us to only open the terraces now that the level of incidence is well below what it was when we were closed.”
Golf courses and outdoor sporting venues are also to reopen
He warned that with these restrictions in place “many companies will not be able to open, either because they do not have a terrace or because opening their business would be financially unviable.”
Valencian health authorities have called for a new meeting on 9th March to address the extended reopening of the hospitality sector, at which time it is considered that it will agree to indoor reopening with a limited capacity of between 30% and 50%.
Outdoor sporting venues such as golf courses will also be permitted to open once again this coming Tuesday, but indoor sports centres and gyms will remain closed for the time being.
The President of the Valencian Community, Ximo Puig, will meet with other government members tomorrow, Thursday 25th February, to assess whether the current weekend perimeter closure of large cities could be abandoned.
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