300 bars and cafes request permission for expansion of terraces in one day
Almost three hundred bars and cafes have already asked the Las Palmas City Council for permission to temporarily have terraces in footpaths and parking areas due to Level 3 restriction forbidding the use of the interior of their premises, which under the decree of the mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, allows the occupation of public space to hospitality businesses.
Gran Canaria only went in to Level 3 on Monday, and already the problem is that the response is not immediate and many business owners, to save their businesses, have decided to install the tables and chairs in public spaces anyway without having authorization.
The City Council instructs that a notification of authorization must arrive to those who request the permit before they put out tables and chairs in those spaces, but there are municipal technicians who prefer not to sign the authorization because they understand that in order to give the permit, the ordinance in force would have to be suspended beforehand, and that has not been done.
The only thing that has been done is a decree by the Mayor's Office, issued last Tuesday, which indicates that the “occupation will require the presentation of the application through the municipal electronic headquarters or through any other means established in the current legislation, proceeding the competent services for its processing”.
Business owners have replied saying that "as the City Council does not respond, and although we technically do not have authorization, we are putting out the terraces anyway, understanding that we are doing it according to the resolution and following all the procedures."
Other articles that may interest you...
Business associations have denounced the "ambiguity" of this regulation. "The problem is that the authorization does not arrive at the moment and there are times when the municipal website has crashed", said the manager of the Vegueta Association of Leisure and Restauration, Olga Palacios, who is disappointed that the restrictions on the hospitality industry are not accompanied by support. "Either they let us work or they don't charge us, and if they help us, that is because in four months we are all ruined," she explained.
The union spokesman for the CC-UxGC, Francis Candil, yesterday asked the mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, to allow those bars, restaurants and cafeterias with a terrace license to increase the number of tables and chairs to counteract the loss of business due to the closure of the interior of their premises.
“The City Council has done its homework halfway, because just as it has allowed in an extraordinary way the installation of terraces for those establishments that did not have them, it must allow those that do have them to increase the number of tables and chairs, as long as they don’t affect the passage of pedestrians and or disturb neighbours and using, if necessary, parking spaces. It is the only way we can save jobs in the hospitality sector," he warned.