ELCHE has decided to allow extra outdoor space for bars and restaurants to expand or even introduce terrace areas.

COVID restrictions on the Costa Blanca mean that only 30% indoor capacity is allowed but terraces can operate at full capacity.

A major issue is that many urban hospitality businesses have never had terraces because of a lack of room.

Elche council has now relaxed space rules on a temporary basis in an attempt to boost the sector with current regional restrictions set to run at least until after the Easter holiday.

It means that chairs and tables can be laid on pavements that have a width of less than three metres but 1.80 metres must be left free for pedestrians, meaning something of a tight squeeze.

Elche government team spokesman, councillor Hector Diez, said: “This is an absolutely exceptional measure while the pandemic restrictions continue.”

Diez added that the measure was in response to a plea from the hospitality sector.

“This is a measure that I think we are all going to understand, since we are aware of the serious difficulties that the hotel and restaurant sector is encountering and the need to provide facilities so that it can develop its activity.”

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