EXTENDED opening hours have not brought a full reopening of Benidorm’s bars and restaurants this week, according to a local hospitality group.

The Abreca association has also claimed that up to a quarter of the resort’s hospitality businesses will not even bother to open after State of Alarm restrictions are lifted on May 9.

Bars and restaurants reopened on March 1 with a 6.00 pm shutdown and capacity restrictions.

That followed late January’s total closure as COVID cases reached record highs in the Valencian Community.

The regional government allowed bars and restaurants to open until 10.00 pm from last Monday(April 26), but it appears that some smaller traders have kept their shutters down.

Abreca president, Javier del Castillo, said: “Many of our members have not reopened their doors as they depend on domestic and foreign tourists who are simply not here.”

“Places with large terraces are able to make things pay but the 30% indoor capacity restriction means that bars and restaurants in the Old Town with little or no terrace space cannot operate,” he added.

Del Castillo believes that businesses will open from early June but that the bulk of customers will be from around Spain, rather than from countries like the UK.

He warned that bars and restaurants will employ fewer staff this summer as they are struggling to pay their bills.

“Our members are fighting to get to the end of each month to pay suppliers and creditors, as well as taxes and rents, “ he added.

“Many businesses will not be able to recover from all of the accumulated debts caused by the lockdowns.”

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