LATE-night eating and a table filled with tapas is almost as synonymous with Spain as sea and sunshine.
So the warning that all the pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close by 6pm as part of the latest coronavirus restrictions was about as jarring to some as hearing that Jamie Oliver favours chorizo sausage in his paella.
President Juanma Moreno described the move as ‘tough and difficult’ measures, adding ‘we make these decisions to save lives’ and it is true we must all play our part in controlling the spread of the virus.
The tragedy is that bars and restaurants have led the way in trying to protect staff and customers and these late-night venues have become something of a lifeline for lonely locals who have been separated for loved ones for months at a time.
We must work together to keep the country safe but we hope that it does not have to be at the expense of one of the most important parts of our lifestyle and economy for much longer.
The temporary closing of bars and restaurants will hopefully pay off – but to classify these venues as non-essential is a disservice to the service industry.