Hoteliers trust that the Government will rectify the capacity limit in bars

The employers of Hospitality of Spain trust that the Government will rectify its "error" and will stop limiting the capacity of the terraces to 30% and the interior of bars to 33%, as it appears in its de-escalation plan, and proposes the concession of direct aid to the sector given the magnitude of this crisis.

This was stated this Thursday by the president of the entity, José Luis Yzuel, who together with representatives of the employers of mass consumption companies (Aecoc) and the food industry (FIAB) has presented a guide detailing the specific measures to be adopted in establishments to guarantee the safety of employees and customers against the coronavirus.

"In Health, they do not have the habit of consulting anyone, and they are not absolutely anointed with the absolute truth," said Yzuel, who has advanced that in the initial conversations held with the Executive the idea was to reduce the capacity to 70% of the usual capacity, well above the figure finally set.

"It was a surprise, when I saw the Prime Minister speaking (in reference to Tuesday 28, in the intervention of Pedro Sánchez to present the phases of the de-escalation), I thought he was wrong," the employer leader has acknowledged.

The guide presented today -which will be analyzed by the Ministry of Health, the autonomous communities and the unions- does not establish a specific percentage of capacity and is committed to depending on each establishment depending on the size and its conditions, always guaranteeing that a safety distance of between a meter and a meter and a half.

From the Hospitality of Spain they have cited as an example the case of Madrid urban buses, where a free seat is left between passengers, a distance according to their data of even less than a meter and which is similar in the way they sit at the bar of a bar .

In the employers' opinion, with these measures there would be premises and terraces that could even be 100%, depending fundamentally on the space between tables.

Yzuel has warned that there is a "current" within the sector that advocates not reopening the terraces on May 11 and the interior of the bars as of May 25 until the required conditions change, which they consider "absolutely unfeasible" in terms of profitability.

"We are a sector with water around our necks. We may be facing a reconversion like the one that mining, shipping or coal passed. We have a tremendous forecast of closings (around 85,000 of the more than 300,000 establishments distributed throughout the country), the same should be given direct aid, "he said.

The employer's president has also proposed a reduction in VAT to the sector and has harshly criticized the Executive for not having agreed with it on the measures to be taken during the de-escalation, in addition to censuring the "lack of sensitivity" of the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz.

The general director of Aecoc, José María Bonmatí, has influenced, for his part, that the main failure of the de-escalation proposed by the Government for the hospitality industry is that it raises dates "without first solving other issues" such as the flexibility of the Records of Temporary Employment Regulation (ERTE), the payment of commercial rents or microcredits for SMEs.

"The restrictions on employment in these circumstances are not realistic," stressed Bonmatí, who has called for a progressive recovery of staff as sales levels return to normal.

From FIAB, its CEO, Mauricio García de Quevedo, recalled the key weight in the Spanish economy of the hospitality sector - the channel accounts for an average of 30% of the income of the food industry - and has asked to evaluate measures as a Super reduced VAT of 4% and the launch of campaigns to help promote consumption after confinement.

The guide presented today for the reopening of the hotel business includes instructions to follow in the kitchen, living room, terraces and home delivery services, among others.

His recommendations include the use of single-use tablecloths and utensils, avoiding traditional menu cards, and providing disinfectant gel to customers.


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