Wednesday, August 4

The discotheques in Galicia, faced with the obligation to request PCR from their clients: “We hoteliers are not police or health personnel”

The owners of nightlife venues in Galicia are back on the ropes. The new restrictions imposed by the Xunta that come into force at dawn this Wednesday require locals to verify the negative PCR, the antigen test, the vaccination certificate or a document that proves that they have overcome the coronavirus before entering. But the businessmen argue that they lack the means and even the training to identify possible counterfeits by customers. Some have hired doormen, others have preferred to close.

The new restrictions to face the outbreak of infections, by communities

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“We are not policemen. Nor has anyone taught us how to proceed at the door of our premises. We only know the documents that we have to ask for. Nothing more,” explains Begoña Ángel, manager of the Mogambo Club in Vigo. This businesswoman from the night owl neighborhood of Churruca demands that the Xunta be more specific in the verification processes of the certificates necessary to access the rooms: “I know people close to them who have already falsified the documentation to be able to access other places. Are we going to control that? ”

The Galician Government, overwhelmed by the growth of infections in recent weeks, announced the measure seven days ago. At the same time that it hardened the conditions of entry into bars at night, it established that city councils should seal off parks and beaches to avoid the bottle. The Department of Health does not respond to the opinion of experts on the virus, who repeat over and over again that the risk of contagion outdoors is much lower than indoors. Feijóo, who chaired the clinical committees that advise him and gave the de-escalation press conferences, has not done so for several weeks.

Less than 100 meters from the local Begoña, on the adjoining street, the owner of the Sala Kominsky, Ana Belén Magdalena, ironizes about the new restrictions: “Thanks to these measures by the Xunta, now, in addition to businesswomen and waitresses, we have become health personnel “. The case of his premises is paradigmatic and serves to understand the situation of small discos during the coronavirus crisis. In its two years of activity and due to the size of its room, it had never needed personnel at the door to control the entrance. Now, with fewer clients than before the pandemic, he has had to increase his expenses to hire workers with whom he can comply with the protocols: “No doorman that I know has the faintest idea of ​​how to know if a document is false or no, “he explains.

All Galician nightclub managers consulted by acknowledge that improvisation is a constant in the Administration, in their own premises and even from the Police: “From the working group that we have with the Vigo City Council, we have been able to speak with the Local Police and they do not have great certainties either. What happens if they search a place and discover that there are people with the falsified certificate? Do they have the capacity to verify it? Is there any responsibility for the locals? We need health security, but also legal security “, claims the owner of the Sala Kominsky.

From La Iguana, one of the oldest nightlife venues in Vigo, its owner, Billy King, believes that one of the great problems of the new restrictions is the slowness of PCR and antigen tests: “Right now, the result The tests have a delivery time of between two and three days. So if you want to have a drink on Friday, you better plan it and do the PCR at the beginning of the week. ”

A first trial that didn’t work: “We let everyone in”

The first major rehearsal of the new restrictions took place in Vigo last weekend through the passage of the city at a medium alert level. The change in level was known on Friday and neither clients nor workers had room for maneuver to be able to take the necessary tests to enter the rooms. “Given the mess that was made and taking into account that the people with the certificate were a minority, we had to let everyone through, but registering them all,” explains the manager of the Mogambo room.

In Vigo, the main interlocutor of leisure entrepreneurs with the Xunta de Galicia is José Luís Asenjo, member of the Provincial Federation of Hospitality Entrepreneurs of Pontevedra: “The situation is very complex and new for all of us. have reported the first problems at the entrances of their premises. As many Portuguese tourists visit us in summer, the doormen have found that the documentation presented by the clients was different from the Spanish one and they have not known how to act “, explains José Luís .

The situation reported by the union associations contrasts with the communicative deployment of the Government of Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Its vice president, Alfonso Rueda, is personally in charge of negotiating with a sector that during the first months of the pandemic was considered mistreated by the administrations. Rueda insists publicly that all the initiatives of the Xunta are “a success.” But some entrepreneurs only see stones in the way and, above all, improvisation.

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