Only 1/3 bars & restaurants open in Phase 1 of de-escalation across Spain with many reclosing because of social disorder – is Costa del Sol ready for a stampede on Monday?

Are Costa del Sol restaurant and bars ready for a potential stampede on Monday? CREDIT: Wikimedia

According to Spain’s Association of Self-employed Workers (ATA), only around one-third of hospitality establishments opened this week in Phase 1 of deescalation across many parts Spain.

IN fact, two out of three establishments chose to remain closed in cities such as Almeria, Bilbao, Oviedo, Palma, Sevilla and Zaragoza. Many reports have confirmed that many of those that did open actually decided to close again because they were simply overwhelmed with long queues, people not respecting social distancing rules and general social disorder.

Many others, however, simply did not open in Phase 1 because it’s not financially feasible to open just 50 per cent of terrace capacity to customers with tables set two-metres apart. Mahos hospitality association’s President Javier Frutos has predicted a similar scenario for Malaga. He stated that there are many bars and restaurants that will not open in Phase 1 of de-escalation on the Costa del Sol because it simply won’t be profitable for them to do so.

Nevertheless many establishments are frantically preparing their terraces to open on Monday, thanks to a move by Malaga Town Hall giving bars and restaurants permission to double the space of their terraces. Establishments will be allowed to use public space so long as they don’t block access to paths/roads, and allow pedestrians enough space to pass by safely. That move alone will go some way to help boost the number of customers, according to Malaga’s Town Hall authorities.

The question is, are bar and restaurant owners across the Costa del Sol ready for a potential stampede on Monday with locals across the region desperate to meet their friends and family over a meal or drink? Watch this space…

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Pepi Sappal

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