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Bar and restaurant owners hit out at new Covid-19 measures in Andalucía

From 18 December bars and restaurants must close for two hours at 6pm but will then be allowed to open again until 10.30pm.
From 18 December bars and restaurants must close for two hours at 6pm but will then be allowed to open again until 10.30pm. / ÑITO SALAS
  • The hospitality sector that "just wants to work" has called for the resignation of the Junta’s president Juanma Moreno

Bar and restaurant owners across Andalucía claim that the Junta’s president, Juanma Moreno, has "sacrificed hospitality" after announcing the new Covid-19 measures on Thursday which will force bars to close for two-hours during the early evening in phase two of the easing of restrictions.

The Horeca trade association has announced it is breaking its relationship with the Junta "because of the mistreatment of the sector" after the measures were published.

During phase one from 12 to 17 December bars and restaurants will have to close at 6pm as now. But during phase two - from 18 December to 10 January they must close for two hours at 6pm but will then be allowed to open again until 10.30pm.

The Junta’s president claimed that the arrangements would "give oxygen to the economy…while protecting the health of the people of Andalucía".

Moreno said that the two-hour closure is justified because that is when people are more relaxed and there is more risk of spreading the virus - but Horeca said that argument is "ridiculous".

The hospitality sector employs more than a quarter of a million Andalusians and represents more than seven per cent of the regional gross domestic product.

Shopkeepers are a little happier with the new measures that will allow them to stay open until 9pm from Saturday. And it is believed that mobility between municipalities - and later provinces - will help too in the run-up to Christmas.

The President of Malaga Comercio, Salvador Pérez, says that small and medium-sized businesses have been particularly hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and the new measures will be a relief for many.