An immediate modification of the ERTES so that the hospitality workers gradually reincorporate, concrete sanitary hygiene measures and microcredits for SMEs are the three claims that the gastronomic sector makes to the Government regarding its de-escalation plan.
The Hermanad Gastró (HERGAS), with more than a thousand members from all gastronomic fields – producers, cooks, businessmen, winemakers, sommeliers, hospitality employees and the distribution channel – has gathered the main “urgent” claims that the sector needs in order to be able to undertake “without breaking” the phased de-escalation plan announced by the Government.
The “immediate” modification of the ERTES applied to almost all restaurants, so that the templates do not have to be reinstated in full as of phase 1, which starts on May 11 and which only allows the opening of the terraces with a limitation of use of 30% of its capacity is the main demand of a sector that directly employs more than 300,000 people and represents 6% of GDP.
According to a HERGAS statement, the re-entry of workers must “adapt to the pace of openings and the proportional increase in billings” if the “survival of millions of jobs and families” is to be facilitated.
They also request “the implementation of low-interest microcredits immediately for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, the mainstay of the hospitality sector”, as well as the publication of the sanitary-hygienic measures that will need to be adopted before undertaking the de-escalation plan and a special support plan for SMEs and the self-employed for its implementation.
According to the de-escalation plan announced by Sánchez, phase 0 (from May 4) allows bars and restaurants to be opened only to offer food to pick up at the premises, in 1 (May 11) the opening is restricted to the terraces and at 30% of its capacity, 2 (May 25) contemplates that a third of the tables of the premises can be occupied and 3 (June 8) 50% of the tables and bars of the establishments.
These dates, which have not been accompanied by economic or hygienic sanitary measures, have been rejected by the majority of businessmen and chefs, who have assured that they prefer to delay opening until the return to the “new normal” to avoid losses that would lead to its definitive closure. .
HERGAS, formed as a technical non-profit social action group, has the support of relevant personalities in this field such as chefs Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz) or Pedro Sánchez (Bagá) ; the director of the Alicia Foundation, Toni Massanés, or the general director of the Basque Culinary Center, Joxe Mari Aizega.
Prior to the announcement of the de-escalation plan, HERGAS had already contacted the central government and other public administrations to ask for help in the “reconstruction” of the sector with measures such as a specific ICO line, bonuses in Corporation Tax and personal income tax.
Likewise, postponement and fractionation of debts, subsidy lines for the digitization of the sector and for the creation of food collection points or a promotional campaign to promote local tourism in the short and medium term.