Expats on Spain's Costa del Sol share their frustration on COVID regulations affecting hospitality

British ex-pats on Spain’s Costa del Sol are getting more frustrated with Coronavirus affecting hospitality venues as the local governing bodies consider further restrictions

Expats living down in Southern Spain on the sunny Costa del Sol are getting fed up with the changes in the regulations constantly as the hospitality sector appears to take the brunt of the blame.

With hospitality businesses going out of business on a daily occurrence now, the local governing bodies prepare to tighten regulations even further as warned this week.

Although residents on the Costa del Sol are now very disturbed by what they feel is victimization not only against the hospitality industry as a whole compared to other sectors but also that Spanish owned bars and restaurants are getting preferential treatment from the police.

Tom Griffiths contacted Global247news to say how he feels ex-pat establishments are more heavily hit by the police, he said: ” I was in bar two weeks ago, a man sat by the door took an accidental puff on one of those small vape sticks and in stormed the police, 4 officers in total, issuing fines to both the vape puffer and the landlord, whilst yes it is against the current regulations, the Spanish bar next door was full of smoking tables with ashtrays in full use”

“I heard the landlord say to the cops ‘ what about them?’ to which the reply was ‘we don’t see that’ – it’s one rule for one and one rule for another with these regulations, that’s for sure he said”

Residents on a daily basis on Spain’s Costa del Sol are sadly seeing their ‘locals’ close with owner’s lives turned upside down financially and the majority feel the hospitality industry is far safer than for say going to the supermarket.

One former bar owner who was forced to give up her bar on the Costa del Sol due to the pandemic posted in social media groups the reality of the situation when it comes to the hospitality sector’s regulations, she wrote:

“As I walk into the supermarket with 30 other people at the same time, I think about my bars and restaurants which allow parties of 6 total, and meticulously spaced out reservations by 10 minutes ensuring guests that aren’t from the same party do not arrive at the same time.
As I take a trolley, that has had just the handle sanitized, I think about my bars and restaurants which invested thousands of pounds (so far) on ink and paper to print disposable menus to ensure no two guests touch the same menu.
As I walk over to the produce aisle with 15-20 other people around me, I’m reminded of the strict “no mingling / no walking around the bars and restaurants other than to use the washroom or enter/exit policy we have in place and the 6ft distance between tables which has cut our capacity in half.
As I watch the woman next to me pick up apples with her hand, check them over closely and then put them back on the open pile and repeats this until she finds the perfect apples — the same thing that all other people that day who want an apple will then do and then put those apples into their mouths, I think about the two-step sanitation process in place at my bars and restaurants for all cutlery and dishes and glassware in between every single guest, and the sanitation of every surface guests touch (tables, chairs, salt, and pepper shakers, etc).
As I watch the man in the next aisle over ignore or not notice the directional arrows on the ground, I think about my bars and restaurants and the constant redirecting our staff does of guests – by locking certain doors, blocking areas off and the work my team does to simply not allow guests to walk where they are not supposed to.
As I walk down the cereal aisle, I see a person with their mask off so they can talk on the phone, and I’m reminded of my bars and restaurants where our masking policy has lost us so much business as we will not allow guests who do not cover their nose mouth and chin while not sitting at their designated seat as per the by-law in place for our region.
As I check out at the cashier, I use my debit card to pay and see the plastic film covering the terminal. It was not sanitized after the person before I used it. I am reminded of the sanitizer used on the debit terminals in between each guest every time at my bars and restaurants.
As I stand at a crowded exit trying to leave, I’m reminded of the detailed contact tracing in place at my bars and restaurants that records the name, phone number, table number, arrival and exit time, as well as the server and section the guest sat in that is in place at my bars and restaurants— not one of those pieces of information was taken from any customer here.
As I get into my car and watch all these people leave the store, I wonder which person will visit my establishment after contracting covid at this supermarket and I wonder why on earth my restaurant will be blamed as the source.
Bars and Restaurants are being targeted as the “source” of Covid infections because we are one of the ONLY industries required to provide contact tracing. Someone with Covid could have gone to ASDA, TESCO, B&Q, RETAIL SHOPS & any other shop/ supermarket, etc, yet it’s the bars and restaurants that took their detailed information that will be forced to close and deemed responsible for the infection.
You want to blame restaurants for the spread after thousands of pounds investing in equipment, training, and stricter policies than ANYWHERE ELSE?!”

Expat Brian Cooper who read the posting said: ” It’s well written out and I agree with it totally, the hospitality industry is always selected as the cause, but in my opinion it’s wrong – the Junta here should read it before their meeting tomorrow”

“They won’t of course, it’s like they don’t seem to care and just continue to penalize the industry especially British owned bars, they need to start looking a bit closer to home”

 


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