Spain holidays: Irish pub owner in Tenerife slams new 'kill joy' rules as tourists left 'disappointed'

By Marita Moloney

The co-owner of an Irish pub in Tenerife has slammed the introduction of new Covid rules in the popular tourist destination.

Ferghal Flaherty, who is also a musician who performs at the Hole in the Wall Irish bar on the Spanish island, said the strict measures are a "kill joy" and "nonsensical".

Tenerife entered Tier 4 on Monday, with the measures set to be in place until at least January 20.

The move is set to disappoint numerous Irish holidaymakers seeking some winter sun at the tourist hotspot.

Under the rules, all businesses must close by midnight, with capacity for hotels and restaurants is reduced to 75% outdoors and 33% indoors.

Capacity for public commercial areas such as shopping centres and parks is reduced to 50% outdoors and 33% indoors, while for at cultural establishments such as theatres, cinemas, museums etc, capacity is reduced to 75% outdoors and 55% indoors.

Tenerife introduced strict new rules this week. (Zuma Press/PA Images)

Masks must be worn when outdoors as well as indoors, apart from when seated at a table.

People must be fully vaccinated to enter bars, restaurants and cafes with a capacity of 30 people or more and they will be asked to present a digital copy of their vaccination certificate upon entry.

Mr Flaherty's business on the Canary island is one of the many hospitality premises impacted by the stricter rules.

In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, the day after Tenerife moved to Tier 4, he said: "What a difference a day makes. New restrictions are just a kill joy.

"It’s so difficult turning our regulars away and seeing the disappointment on their faces. Our family [and] friends have travelled from all over the UK, Ireland and afar to enjoy nights not only in the Hole in the Wall but their regular haunts that make this wonderful island what it is.

"Believing that reducing the hospitality industry by another 17% and one hour less is going to stop the infection rate is nonsensical.

"They are allowing thousands of tourists on to the island but they don’t want them enjoying themselves. Yes people come for winter sun but if they force many of our fellow entertainment establishments to close a big percentage of tourists will not come.

"We are the heart and soul of the tourist industry and fool them if they think doing what they’re doing is going to solve the problem."

Mr Flaherty went on to thank people for their support as without them the bar would not be in business.

The Hole in the Wall pub in Tenerife. (Hole in the Wall Tenerife/Facebook)

He said: "Myself and Deirdre took a big gamble taking on the Hole in the Wall and the Soul Suite, the easy option would have been to walk away and cut our losses but we felt we had a responsibility to our loyal family of friends who have supported us over the years and continue to support us.

"The Hole in the Wall wouldn’t be opened today if it wasn’t for this support and we will continue to fight and work hard to reach our goals.

"We have had good weeks and bad weeks but we are moving in the right direction.

"I would like to thank our hard-working staff who have been amazing, they have bought into our way of thinking and all work as a team, we have the ingredients of a bright future and we believe it won’t be long to when we are back to 100% capacity and welcoming our family of friends and not turning them away."

The Irish Mirror has contacted Mr Flaherty for further comment.


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