A Costa Blanca hospitality association has branded the 12.30 am closure of bars and restaurants as ‘nonsense’ because it forces young costumers to have illegal drinks parties.
In the wake of rising COVID cases among younger people, the Valencian government introduced new rules for hospitality and nightlife last weekend.
It means that nothing can be purchased after midnight with premises shutting half-an-hour later.
The Alicante Province Association of Hospitality Entrepreneurs(Apeha) president, Emi Ortiz, said: “It’s nonsense. When we close at 12.30, then the young people gather for botellons or private parties. Nobody goes home.”
“We are safe and controlled in the hospitality industry which is a proven fact,” she added.
She criticised the regional government for only offering grants and not direct aid like in other countries.
“Give me €20,000 as in France and Germany and we can survive,“ Ortiz pleaded.
She said that with 50% indoor capacity restrictions in place since spring, many smaller premises have not reopened this year.
“I know of many small bars that can only use three tables inside and it is not profitable for them to trade and to take back their staff who have been furloughed.”
Ortiz added that Apeha members who hire out function rooms are getting cancellations because families are unable to sit at the same table, which are now limited indoors to a maximum of six people.
“The damage to the hospitality sector is irreparable and we want to shout out loud that we are safe,” she concluded.