Spain’s WORST summer: Business owners claim season is a ‘disaster’

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The past year has been tough on many businesses as Covid rules and regulations have meant many have had to close their doors for months at a time. For tourist hotspots in Spain, this summer has been the worst yet, according to bosses working in the hospitality industry.

Owners of nightclubs and bars in the Valencian Community have blamed the autonomous region’s government for Covid restrictions and “terrible planning” that have led to a “disastrous” summer.

The hospitality bosses said that they are only generating just over a quarter of their 2019 income levels.

A survey from the Spain by Night, Fotor, and Alroa associations found that for the 73.5 percent of businesses still operating since the start of the pandemic, their incomes have decreased 26.6 percent compared to two years ago.

Many business owners have blamed the Valencian government for the dreary situation.

A statement written by bosses claimed the authorities were the “main cause of the disaster”.

The “disaster” was in reference to this year’s summer season.

The statement went on to criticise the government for its decision to put some Covid restrictions in place.

One of the restrictions was the return of the night curfew.

Nightclub and bar owners blasted the government for “terrible planning”, implementing a night curfew in key tourist areas just a few weeks ago.

In late July, the regional High Court in Valencia agreed to extend a 1am to 6am curfew to 77 municipalities, up from 32.

A total of 2.6million people were subjected to the measure, which amounts to more than half of the population of the region.

Around the same time, the government capped social meetings at 10 people, both indoors and outdoors.

Additionally, capacity at large events was limited to 50 percent, with a maximum of 1,500 people.

The extended night curfew in the Valencian Community ended on August 16, but there is still a 1am to 6am curfew in the 33 original municipalities.

The limits on social gatherings also remain in place and bars, cafés, and restaurants must close at half midnight.

As for masks, it is mandatory for everyone six years and older to wear a face covering in any public enclosed space.

As well as the restrictions, business owners have also slammed the government’s “inability” to “control botellones”.

Many young people in Spain have been ignoring the rules to go to a party, a gathering, or a botellón.

Spain by Night, Fotor, and Alroa said that only 11.9 percent of the Valencian businesses’ losses caused by restrictions have been covered so far by regional government financial aid.

Almost all – 97.1 percent – of businesses and staff surveyed by the associations said they backed protests to demand more help.

Those surveyed also said they want the government to create a plan to enable them to return to normal trading.

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