BARS and restaurants on the Costa Blanca have launched a campaign pleading with customers to follow health safety rules to avoid them being closed down again.

The Easter holiday campaign has been set up by the Valencian Hospitality Businesses Association and uses the slogan, ‘If you don’t comply, they close us’.

It’s in reference to concerns that if people flout rules like smoking on terraces, then infection rates could rise forcing the regional government to shut down the hospitality sector once more.

Businesses reopened with terrace service only on March 1 after an enforced late-January closure to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

30% indoor capacity was introduced a fortnight later, but with all bars and restaurants having to shut by 6.00 pm each day.

The Alicante Hospitality Business Federation(FEHPA) is pushing the new campaign on the Costa Blanca and has sent out 2,000 posters with the forceful ‘comply or close’ slogan to be displayed in bars and restaurants

FEHPA president, Emi Ortiz, said: “Business owners have to remind the public about the consequences of rule breaking, which could mean enforced shutdowns if COVID cases rebound. If that happens, many of our members will never reopen.”

Another poster will remind customers that there can only be up to four diners per table and that you can only eat or drink when sat down.

Other rules that are emphasised include the smoking ban on terraces; the washing of hands with gel; and the requirement to ask a staff member for permission to use the toilet.

“We are very clear that we are conveying a message that the hospitality sector cannot return to where it was earlier this year and that it is essential to comply with all health rules,”added Ortiz

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