The new restrictions imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19 by the Catalan government, which came into force on Christmas Eve, have marred the beginning of the Christmas holidays for the local hospitality and trade sectors.
Cancellations have been seen by hotels and restaurants, due to both the spread of the virus and the recent measures implemented.
The increase in Covid infections has led to these new drastic measures, which have closed nightlife, reduced capacity by 50% inside establishments and social gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. The measures have damaged the local hospitality sector, leading to a series of cancellations for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Local shops and small businesses are also going through a difficult time, with sources from the Sitges Comerç association saying that sales are below last year’s. The ‘puente’ holiday of 6-8 December was not the best for local trade. The fact that there is only one Sunday between Boxing Day and Three Kings Day – with Saturday 1 January being a public holiday and with many shops closed – means that many local traders are not very optimistic, as most of their sales are normally to weekend shoppers and visitors.
Sònia Romà, vice-president of the local trade association, says, ‘It has been very difficult. Everything has been focused on the last two days before Christmas Day. The weekend before Christmas, which always sets the pattern, was a disaster.’ However, Romà expects the situation to improve somewhat before the Three Kings Day.
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