Interiors of bars, cafés, and restaurants reopen in Lleida
The sector calls for aid to alleviate the losses as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions
The bars, cafés, and restaurants of Lleida have reopened their interiors today after the government’s official gazette published the resolution that authorizes such activity once more.
The health department resolution was published on Tuesday to allow the insides the restaurants in the capital of Segrià county plus six more Baix Segre towns in the vicinity, although with a capacity limited to 50%.
Business owners value the move positively since until now they could only serve on the terraces or food to take away.
From the early morning, most bars and restaurants already began to open the interiors of the premises in order to respect the safety distance of two meters between tables and thus be able to receive the first customers.
The head waiter of the BOnum No Rules restaurant, Abel Martínez, is "very happy" to be able to open inside the establishment because "it is still an added value as now people can choose if they want to eat on the terrace or in the dining room inside."
Martínez remarks that "Lleida is a city where it is very hot" and, in this sense, explains that customers have complained these days about having to have lunch and dinner on the street.
He adds that the economic losses are significant due to the restrictions on the businesses, and pointed out the "psychological effect” of places continually closing and opening establishments has caused confusion among people about whether or not they could go out to eat or drink.
Calls for specific financial aid to alleviate losses
The Lleida Hospitality Federation values the measure to allow the insides of establishments to open positively, although they say they do not understand why the restaurants in Lleida city and the six other nearby towns had not been able to open their interiors like the rest of Catalonia up until now.
The secretary-general of the Federation, Ramon Solsona, has once again demanded specific financial aid from the government for the bars, cafés, and restaurants affected by the measure to alleviate the losses seen since the beginning of July. He also asks to recover the extraordinary aid for the self-employed.
The federation estimates the daily losses of restaurants in Lleida and the six other towns of the Baix Segre area that were under the restrictions at €1.7 million.
Likewise, they estimate the debts that the 1,200 bars, cafés, and restaurants have assumed due to the temporary redundancies, the payment of rent, and other expenses despite not being able to open, at around €6 million.
The federation warns that, if no aid is given, this situation could mean that between 30-40% of the establishments in these seven towns of the Segrià county could be forced to close permanently.