Half gas. Quite the opposite of outdoor stoves to try to warm the freezing environment and spirits. This is how the hotel industry throughout Castilla y León was able to reopen the terraces this Friday, except in Burgos capital, after a month of coffee to go. A new custom that many decided to maintain rather than sit on the chairs deployed by the hoteliers who decided to climb the gate again. Not all did. Doubts, lack of profitability and a meteorology that in the form of a storm and a drop in temperatures did not accompany … So many chose to continue with the cash at zero. And it is that with the thermometers that barely reached double digits in some points -The sun and noon-, the snow that even cut roads and the limitation of returning to activity only abroad, except in Ávila, León, Salamanca and Segovia, the accounts do not come out. Among those who returned after the bar, more desire and contained emotion to recover the activity than confidence in profitability.
And the clients? The desire to share that coffee, beer and even tapas around a table again, but also certain fears and a day that was not accompanied to enjoy the drink in company. Sheltered from the interior they were able to do it for the first time yesterday in León and Salamanca, which released relief measures, with a capacity inside a third and terraces at 75%. Those levels are the ones that least convince the sector, which continues to demand aid. In the capital of Charro, most of the bars and restaurants reopened yesterday on the eve of a different bridge, in which the closure to mobility with other communities will be noticed in the lack of tourists and within Castilla y León there are two blocks: the four provinces with fewer restrictions and the five in which the incidence of the virus continues to be higher and the opening of terraces is the only relief.
In León, where yesterday the large shopping centers and gyms were also able to reopen –with capacity limits–, its inhabitants responded to this new situation and returned to go through the doors of bars, restaurants and cafes or to sit down from early in the morning in its terraces, the option chosen by many customers despite the cold of these first days of December and after days only of coffee and take away food. With restrictive measures that make many owners, although happy to return to activity, focus on the need for aid and a rescue plan that allows them to recover economically, since they will continue to drag losses, Rosa Álvarez informs.
As Paula Álvarez, the manager of the León Hospitality Association, told Efe, the discontent in the sector “is enormous.” Many “open out of desperation,” he warned.
In Segovia, where the decrease in the incidence of Covid-19 has allowed the risk to go from level 4 to 3, since yesterday more capacity in bars, theaters, shopping centers … And more encouragement in their neighbors to see the progress and still with the indelible memory of the hard impact on the first wave. Even so, the president of the association of hoteliers of the province, Jesús Castellanos, pointed out that in the In most cases, this possibility of receiving more customers in many cases does not translate into more tables –The only way to serve, as consumption in bars is still prohibited–, due to the safety distances that must be maintained. Of course, after a week of relief, 90% of the stores have already opened.
The end of the restriction that affects the terraces was received coldly in the first hours in Zamora. Low temperatures meant that customers were scarce and most opted for coffee to go. Most of the tables installed on public roads, in the downtown area of the city, where after noon, a little more activity began to be noticed, Alberto Ferreras reports.
So the most widespread image, as in Valladolid, that of more chairs still stacked than extended and with customers. Coat, gloves and hat to sit on a day back to the hotel industry that, coinciding with Friday, did gain some clientele as the hours passed. Of course, until 22.00, when the curfew begins, another of the restrictions that the sector asks to make more flexible to give more room to its activity.
And among those who raised the gate and those who decided to continue with the padlock, many doubts about how this relief can affect benefits and ERTE. This same Friday, the Minister of Economy and Employment of the Junta de Castilla y León, Ana Carlota Amigo, sent a letter to the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, requesting a regulatory change so that this partial return to activity does not “harm” to the hospitality industry. The exploitation of the terrace especially at this time of year, he points out, is a “very residual activity that does not justify that employers could lose their right to maintain the ERTE of impediment”.