File photograph. / SUR

Hospitality sector seeks support to avoid coronavirus restrictions at Christmas

President of the Andalusian Hospitality Industry, Javier Frutos claims: "Spain continues to turn its back on reality and opts, once again, to attack the bar and restaurant sector, as it did last year”

JUAN SOTO

The hospitality industry in Andalucía is deeply concerned about the messages coming out of central Government regarding the possible implementation of new restrictive coronavirus measures in the coming weeks.

For this reason, the sector has asked the Junta de Andalucía to stand up for it and reject the Covid ‘traffic light’ proposal being put before Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council, which involves the national Ministry of Health and the regions.

With the Christmas campaign starting to get into full swing, the sector considers the idea of closing bars and restaurants at 11pm in areas where the coronavirus incidence and hospital bed occupancy rates are high will again see the number of private reunions in homes proliferate again, where there are no control measures to prevent infections.

The president of the Andalusian Hospitality Industry and the Malaga Hospitality Association (Mahos), Javier Frutos, has said that he regrets that the Government of Spain "continues to turn its back on reality and opts once again to attack the hospitality industry, as it did last year, although with a radically different situation now in terms of vaccination, incidence and hospitalisation rates.

Ruin the hospitality industry

“We have to reject, head on, this desire to ruin the hospitality industry every time the number of infections rise. Closing businesses at 11 pm will do tremendous damage in the middle of the Christmas season, after a horrible year. It is unacceptable," he said.

“The hospitality industry is injured, over-indebted and in danger, and the wish of the Government of Spain - even with group immunity and more than 90% of the target population vaccinated - is to close it down again. It cannot be allowed in any way, mainly because it is useless,” according to Frutos.

‘Covid passport’

With regards to the ‘Covid passport’ he reminded that countries such as Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands that require it to enter leisure and restaurants, are the ones with the worst infection rates because they are also the ones with the lowest percentage of vaccinated people.

“The solution is called vaccination, and in Spain and Andalucía we have a very high percentage vaccinated. This does not go hand in hand with restrictions that have proven not only inappropriate, but also counterproductive, if we look at last Christmas," said Frutos. "The great wave of January and February occurred in homes because the hospitality industry was closed, we must not forget that," he concluded.