At a second meeting between Public Health and representatives of the hospitality sector on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced that it wants to start the de-escalation in the hospitality sector with the partial opening of the terraces from next Tuesday, 2 March, throughout the Valencian Community, but the industry representatives said they consider that it is an “insufficient” proposal that does not meet their expectations.

They asked for the opening of the terraces and re-opening of interiors with a minimum capacity of 30%, to allow the complete opening of all the premises, that the closing time coincides with the curfew, which is currently set at 10pm, and that the groups at the tables are a maximum of six people.

Manuel Espinar, the president of CONHOSTUR and Hostelería Valencia, said that “we were closed when there was an incidence of around 1,500 infections and we are going to open with it below 250 infections.” For this reason, he considers that “it is incongruous” that “health want us to open only with the terraces” now that the level of incidence is well below what it was when we were closed, with a capacity of 30% indoors and 50% outside.

He warned that with these conditions “many companies will not be able to open” either because they do not have a terrace license, or because their business would still be “unviable”.

The Consell, nevertheless, resisted the industry request stating that, for the time being, as the first stage of de-escalation, they would only authorise the reopening of terraces at 50% and that the interior of the premises will remain closed for now.

The intention of the Consell is therefore to allow the reopening of the hotel industry outdoors until 6:00 p.m. , that is, with restricted hours, despite the fact that the employers and associations represented consider the measure insufficient.

The Consell also authorised the restart of outdoor sports activities but not indoor facilities, such as gyms. It also confirmed that Puig is studying lifting the closure of large cities due to the decrease in infections.

Health called for a new meeting on 9 March in order to address the extended reopening of the hospitality sector, at which time it is considered that it will agree to indoor reopening, to a capacity between 30% and 50%.

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