A Benidorm hospitality association has called for the resignation of Valencian president, Ximo Puig over new ‘unfair’ COVID-19 restrictions.
Puig yesterday(July 8) announced reduced hours for bars, restaurants, and nightlife to counter increasing coronavirus infections.
The regional leader said that all nightlife businesses in the Valencian Community would have to close their doors at 12.30 am from tomorrow(as opposed to 2.00 am) and operate only on general hospitality licences.
Bars and restaurants will also have to close earlier at 12.30 am, and like with night clubs and late bars, they will also have to stop serving at midnight.
Abreca(Association of bars, resaturants, and cafeterias of Benidorm) issued a strong statement attacking Puig.
They called on him to quit for ‘continuing to take irresponsible and unfair measures’.
The statement said: “We remind the Valencian Community president that the increase in infections is caused by family gatherings, botellons, and parties as opposed to establishments.”
Abreca added that it made ‘no sense’ to look at infection rates but the better indicator is hospital admissions and people in intensive care.
Earlier this week, Ximo Puig, said that he would not ‘hesitate to act’ if pressure on hospitals increased.
Hospitalisations in the whole Valencian region as of yesterday stood at 260, a far cry from the peak of 4,777 reached on January 25.
Of the 260 current hospital admissions, 225 are in Valencia Province, meaning minimal hospitalisations on the Costa Blanca.
Abreca accused Puig of a ‘lack of professionalism and respect for the many companies and workers affected’.
“The hospitality industry is not the culprit, but it is part of the solution. Let us work normal hours and act on the offenders,“ the statement concluded.
The opposition Partido Popular health spokesman in the Valencian parliament branded the new restrictions today as ‘ridiculous’.
Jose Juan Zaplana said: “The hospitality industry and young people are the ones who suffer most from the impact of the virus because Puig has not done his job.”
“It is incomprehensible that the hospitality trade shutting 30 minutes earlier is going to paralyse any type of virus,” he added.