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Barcelona will let café and restaurant terraces take up more space

Council also lowers tax on outdoor seating by 75%

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06 May 2020 06:36 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The Barcelona city council announced what it has described as an "exceptional" measure on Wednesday: the tax on café and restaurant terraces will go down by 75%, and while these establishments will be allowed to have the same amount of outside seating as before the pandemic, tables will now be able to be more spaced out.

Deputy mayor Jaume Collboni explained that the reduction – which means 7 million euros the council will not be collecting in taxes – will come into effect as soon as the state of alarm comes to an end but will be revised on December 31, adding that "the idea is for cultural and economic life to take place outside, where it can be safer for health reasons."

The measure also seeks to make it easier for establishments that do not yet have terraces to have at least an outdoor table or bar to attract clientele as currently, only 60% of them do, of which 70% have 4 tables or fewer. The aim is to bring the number of establishments in Barcelona with outdoor seating to up to 75% of the total.

Both the restaurant guild and the opposition celebrated the council's decision, with Esquerra assuring the party had put forth a similar proposal and Junts per Catalunya thanking them for "rectifying" their stance on the matter.

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  • Empty restaurant terraces on Barcelona's Rambla Catalunya during the state of alarm (by Àlex Recolons)

  • Empty restaurant terraces on Barcelona's Rambla Catalunya during the state of alarm (by Àlex Recolons)

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