THE chances of bars and restaurants reopening indoors next week in the Valencian Community appear to be very slim according to a regional hospitality association.
Hospitality groups met with Valencian health officials yesterday(March 9) and requested that indoor service be restored at a capacity of 50%.
Conhustur president, Manuel Espinar, was left feeling pessimistic after the talks which saw health chiefs reluctant to recommend major changes ahead of the Easter and San Jose holiday periods.
Manuel Espinar said: “We will once again be penalised because of a fear of greater mobility and there are no health indicators that justify maintaining indoor closures.”
“The majority of third wave infections have happened within private and family circles,” he added.
Valencian hospitality groups have called on terrace limits to be raised from 75% to 100% and that closing time be extended from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm to allow evening meals to be served.
The Valencian Community has some of the toughest restrictions in place of any Spanish region despite having one of the lowest infection rates in the country.
Neighbouring regions with higher COVID rates have largely restored reduced indoor service and have mid-evening closing times.
The current restrictions are due to expire on March 14, and president Ximo Puig will announce tomorrow(March 11) what relaxations, if any, will be made.
Bars and restaurants were allowed to reopened with terrace service only on March 1, with estimates that half of regional hospitality businesses have remained shut.
Nothing will be decided or certain until the government announcement tomorrow, which observers feel will perhaps offer full terrace capacity at best and possibly extend opening times to 8.00 pm in parallel with non-essential shops.
On a more positive note, sports centres and gyms may be allowed to reopen next week with reduced capacity along with the possible resumption of regional team sports competitions.