THE Government of the Balearic Islands has indicated that bars and restaurants will be able to reopen from March 2.

In this much awaited de-escalation plan, communicated at a meeting with local business unions today, the Balearic government said that bars and restaurants will however only be allowed to make use of their outdoor terraces.

Use of indoor spaces will be strictly prohibited until at least March 16, provided that there is not another surge in coronavirus cases.

It will also be under the condition that CO2 meters are installed inside.

In response to the announcement, the Confederation of Business Associations (CAEB), a union that has heavily criticised the government in recent weeks, said the news was ‘unsatisfactory’.

“Our aspirations will not be fulfilled from March 2 considering that in Mallorca, the majority of bars and restaurants do not have terraces.”

In fact, approximately 80% of restaurants on the island do not have a terrace so therefore would not be able to reopen from this date.

In this de-escalation plan, gyms will also be allowed to reopen with exercise classes running under a limited capacity.

Last week, business owners slammed the Balearic government for keeping bars and restaurants closed despite a decline in COVID-19 cases.

President Francina Armengol said this was ‘to maintain a good trend in infections for another 14 days’ and that these particular restrictions ‘were working’, bringing the coronavirus incidence rate down by 49% in just two weeks.

In a joint statement, the Confederation of Business Associations (CAEB) and the Federation of Small and Medium Businesses (PIMEM) said:

“We unanimously reject the restrictions announced by the regional government which have been taken without any consideration of the sector.”

They went on to say the decision was ‘utter nonsense’, made worse by the fact that ‘no financial aid has been provided to those impacted by the closures’.

“They are once again criminalising a sector that has sacrificed so much in recent months, has always been compliant and without a doubt, is the most affected, with thousands now struggling to survive.”

They concluded that the government’s actions showed a ‘clear lack of respect towards workers, employers and their families’, considering that ‘they found out through the media, when the message should have been relayed privately’.

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