Bar owners on Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca fearful for their futures as 15,000 UK pubs in danger of closing

THE grim news from the UK is making bar owners from the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca wonder if they will be able to emerge from the crisis they face in Spain.

Lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted across Spain but with terrace capacity set at 50 per cent and no customers at the moment allowed inside, many bar owners face an uphill battle to make a profit or break even.

Of course, it’s not just the hospitality sector that is experiencing these hurdles, the coronavirus crisis is wreaking havoc across the board and it still looks like a very late start to the season – or what’s left of it.

Bar owners in Spain are anxiously watching the UK scene unfold as it is almost a mirrored copy of the scene here and they hope for a return to normal operations as soon as possible. With, at last count, more than 3,000 bars in Fuengirola, Spain, what happens in the UK looks likely to be a blueprint of what the future holds for bar owners here.

The UK Scene

As many as 15,000 pubs in the UK could be forced to permanently close if they are forced to wait until September to emerge from lockdown, an industry chief has said in the latest warning from the hospitality sector on the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Pubs, restaurants, and bars are expected to be among the last to be allowed to return to operation as the government eases lockdown measures – with the first steps towards a return to normalcy expected to be announced by the prime minister in an address on Sunday.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said the coronavirus pandemic had been financially “devastating” for the sector and she warned pubs could be facing a “double hit” when they reopen as changes to consumer behaviour could see them reluctant to socialise in large numbers.

Ms McClarkin said it was now vital the government agrees to provide financial support to the industry even after pubs begin trading again.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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