New lease of life for Almeria's hospitality sector

ASHAL PRESIDENT: Pedro Sanchez-Fortun talks to the media following hospitality sector protests Photo credit: Ashal

EXTENDING opening hours for shops, cafes, bars and restaurants until 10.30pm has brought new life to the province’s streets.
This, and delaying the curfew until 11pm, has revitalised takings, said Pedro Sanchez-Fortun, president of the ASHAL association which represents the Almeria province hospitality sector.
“It gives us new life, because working in the evening and at night represents almost 50 per cent of their daily turnover for bars and restaurants,” he explained.
The regional government’s partial lifting of the previous restrictions was welcomed by relieved business owners. It should continue until April 9 although the Junta made the prudent proviso that this can be revised  “at any time” depending on the situation of the pandemic.
Only three Almeria municipalities – Instincion, Bayarcal and Turrillas – where the Covid-rate exceeds 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, were excluded from the Junta’s relaxation of opening hours.
Although smaller shops are unlikely to remain open until 10.30pm and will continue to close between 8.30pm and 9pm, many owners are removing staff from the government’s ERTE furlough scheme, as are those in the hospitality sector.
The hospitality sector’s principal concern now is ensuring that the new opening hours and curfew remain in place, prompting calls for responsibility and strict observance of anti-Covid health and safety regulations.
“We want the new timetable to continue,” Sanchez-Fortun said.
“We don’t want to hear that the sector is to blame for an increase in coronavirus cases.  There were outbreaks in countries where bars and restaurants were closed,” the Ashal president pointed out.


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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