Two years later, December’s corporate Christmas dinner returns in style, with no cancellations due to the pandemic and with a few alternative proposals to keep bubble collections in offices. After 2020 without them, most restaurants in Spain are hoping their rooms will be crowded in the coming weeks. “The trendy places have been full for a long time, and pre-booking has been made,” explains Jose Luis Yezuel, president of the Spanish Hospitality Business Federation.
The data issued by the Federation of Employers calls for optimism, especially after the month of December 2020, when the second wave of the epidemic gave way to the third wave, and the turnover rate of this sector decreased by 50% compared to the previous year. This month they expect about 10 billion euros in sales, about 10% less than in 2019, the year before the coronavirus spread into everyone’s lives. 90% of vaccinators [de la población diana, aquella en edad de recibir el pinchazo] You must serve us, and the occupancy level of the hospital is very low. There have been some cancellations because the fear and bad news of the coronavirus is affecting us, but I am sure it will be a good December,” Iswell adds.
Despite the fact that last Tuesday the Ministry of Health recommended limiting the number of attendees at social gatherings, only eight regions – Aragon, Murcia, the Community of Valencia, Navarra, the Balearic Islands, Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia – have made the Covid passport mandatory, It is a mechanism considered by community technicians and the ministry itself to have shown no evidence of its effectiveness. Health also asked residents to insist on control measures, such as mask, distance between people and ventilation.
This is what Alba Costa, a 29-year-old doctor who works at Getafe Hospital, is planning. She and her health care colleagues also received the third dose of the vaccine this week. “Last year we didn’t even think about it, but this year we did. With the vaccine and the PCR that we do in the hospital, the plan is to have dinner in 15 days. When it was organized, we weren’t in that situation, but the data for Madrid don’t.” It is increasing as in other societies,” he explains.
Although the infection rate in Spain has been increasing step by step for weeks – this Friday it rose 14 points, to 248 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days – the situation remains moderately severe in some communities and low in others, according to the new. covid traffic sign Approved by Health and Societies in November. It is far from the alert level for countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic or Austria. In addition, the preliminary developments of the study by South African scientists show that vaccines work against the acute coronavirus due to the new Omicron variant, which has put the entire planet on alert.
This is good news for the hospitality sector, which is one of the sectors most exposed to the vagaries of the coronavirus. Rebeca Toribio, CEO and founder of Superchulo, a vegetarian restaurant of more than 300 square meters located in the Malasaña neighborhood in the heart of the capital, Madrid, noticed this ambiguity caused by the development of the epidemic: with plenty of space, but wait until the last minute for final confirmation. In 2019, everything will be closed at this time.”
Laura Fernandez, owner of Verbena Bar in central Madrid, explains that the differences she has noticed this year at Christmas dinner are layout and size: “Before they asked us to dinner for several people, but now they book for smaller groups and more in advance.”
Planning when making reservations and reducing the number of dinners at dinner are two signs that people have gradually learned to live with the virus. So are the restaurants, which finally dusted the tables on these dates: “The feeling is that if we had Christmas dinner in November, we would definitely put a group together,” says Alfonso Ortega, owner of La Sinfonería, a few meters from the Plaza de España in Madrid. “Last year it couldn’t be done and people are excited about it. In a group of nurses having dinner yesterday [por el jueves] They tested all the antigens,” he adds.
Although these more cautious attitudes toward the pandemic are not common, they have prompted some companies to seek alternative proposals. Abel de la Campa, a 31-year-old publicist from an agency based on Paseo de la Castellana, and his colleagues discussed what to do for Christmas and agreed to have company lunch, but in the same office where they work to keep a bubble with Catering That would bring the dishes closer to them. “At Christmas, I go to my town to be with my parents, who although vaccinated, are much older, and so I’m calmer,” he explains.
Those who stayed home in the majority are those who continue to work remotely, a minority of employees – just 8% do so regularly, according to the state minister for digitalization and artificial intelligence. “There are multinational companies that people haven’t even set foot in their offices yet, and that affects us because they haven’t seen them at dinner either,” explains the head of the Hotel Management Association. Remote work was, in fact, the reason for the cancellation of the dinner for Sarah, a worker from a packaging supplier company who had planned to eat with colleagues on December 17: “There were many complaints because we were going to gather 80 people just before Christmas when at my company we were working Remote every two weeks. There was no point in gathering us all at once.”
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