Spain's government recently announced and initiated a three-phase plan to reintroduce live events into its cities, furthering its efforts to ease restrictions on large gatherings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first phase of the plan, which allows "cultural events" to take place, is currently underway and will be rolling out on a case-by-case basis in each province, relative to the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in each respective area. According to Spanish news outlet The Local, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that bars and restaurants with terraces will be able to operate at 50% of their full capacity.

The statement follows a preceding announcement that limited local venue owners to open its doors at only 30% capacity, which was unsurprisingly met with indignation. Moreover, many restaurants and catering companies have argued that operating at half of their normal capacity is fiscally unviable due to the fact that employers will still need to compensate staff despite raking in half of their typical profits.

The second phase has a tentative start date of May 25th and it will enable indoor venues to fill out one-third of their capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Outdoor venues, on the other hand, will be able to accommodate up to 400 seated guests. The final phase of the plan will be initiated after June 8th, when the number of patrons will be bumped up to a maximum of 80 for indoor venues and 800 for open-air venues.

The news of Spain's easing of restrictions may sound optimistic, but a spokesperson from the Spanish promoters’ association APM had thoughts to the contrary, which he provided in a quote to IQ.

This is not good news because most of the promoters will not be able to do their events In reality, these capacity reductions cannot be applied, because the events were planned with all expenses and income already calculated before the state of alarm was implemented.

Massive events (both festivals and concerts) are not even contemplated by the government. They just refer to concerts of 800 spectators maximum. The drop of more than 95% in ticket sales in the last two months makes these measures even more unviable.




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