Spain’s Murcia Area Sees Bar Owners Told to Boot Out Customers for Staying Too Long

BAR owners in Spain’s Murcia area say they could be forced to boot out customers for staying too long whilst enjoying a drink.

The Murcia region has been fully approved by the Spanish government to get into the Phase 1 of the country’s relaxation of the country’s State of Alarm this Monday (May 11).

That means the return of a terrace drinks service for restaurants and bars, who can occupy 50 per cent of their space.

But businesses, that have been shut for two months, have been allegedly told they have to run a reservation system for their outside terraces and that customers will have a limit of 45 minutes to stay at a table.

There is no obvious mention of that in a clarification of rules published by the Spanish government this Saturday (May 9) in the Official State Gazette, unless regional authorities have gone their own way.

In any case, the suggestion has riled Murcia region bar and restaurant owners.

Jose Carlos Cano, who runs a bar in Cartagena said; “It’s nonsense. It’s crazy. It’s absurd.”

Cano told the La Opinion de Murcia newspaper that he had no intention of running a clock on his customers, many of whom he regarded as friends.

A cafe owner in Murcia added that imposing any time restrictions could lead to trouble, and that he had better things to do than work as a policeman.

As for the Madrid government, the State Gazette said today:

“A maximum of 50 per cent of tables on terraces can be occupied. There will have to be a minimum distance of two metres between tables, and groups of customers cannot number more than 10.”

“Such establishments will not yet be able to open their indoor dining areas, but will still be able to offer food to take away, as they could under Phase 0.

“Restaurants and bars will have to prioritise single-use tablecloths, and under no circumstances can a fabric tablecloth be used for more than one customer. Such items will have to be washed at temperatures of between 60 and 90ºC.”

“Terraces will have to provide hand gels and disinfectants at their entrance and menus will not be provided to customers. Items such as serviette dispensers, toothpicks and oil and vinegar bottles will also not be used, but sachets instead,” the Gazette concluded.

Since terraces will only be serving drinks for the time being, the provision of oil and vinegar to spice up a glass of wine or a beer sounds like an interesting prospect.

And no mention either of any table time limits.

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Written by

Alex Trelinski