The Association of Discos of the South and Algarve (ADSA) says reopening bars and discos on January 14 – not on January 10 as was originally announced by the government – is another “penalising” measure for the sector.
While the association acknowledges that the latest measures (click here) may be necessary, it warns that nightclubs continue to struggle to make ends meet.
“I know there has never been as much contagion as there is now and that authorities are concerned about containing the spread, but these cases are fortunately not leading to more hospitalisations,” said ADSA president Liberto Mealha. “And these measures continue to be penalising for people who own businesses.”
The impact of the latest measures “will not be as serious” in the Algarve because businesses would normally close anyway during the low season.
“But it will be more difficult for our colleagues in other regions of Portugal, who have daily expenses and staff wages to pay,” said Mealha.
“Time moves on but our expenses remain the same. I’m not opposed to the measures, because case numbers have never been so high, but we need support,” he said, stressing that bars and discos are “always the last” to receive attention.
Another challenge facing discos when they reopen will be the requirement for clients to present a negative Covid-19 test.
“If a rapid test (‘self-test’) which does not need certification is accepted, it would simplify things a lot,” the association boss said.