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Dedecker: ‘Next week already terraces in Middelkerke’

Cafés and restaurants will install all their terraces in Middelkerke next week. Mayor Jean-Marie Dedecker (LDD) calls on them. Although it remains forbidden for coastal visitors to use it.

It is a call for civil disobedience that Dedecker made in De Zevende Dag: ‘We are already going to set up our terraces and beach bars and invite Prime Minister De Croo (Open Vld) and Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) so that they can see that the reopening of the catering industry here can already be done safely. ‘

Dedecker is angry, the relaxation of the corona measures is far too slow for him. ‘We only have the tourism sector as an economic sector. And the Easter holiday is already the third holiday the coast must miss. ‘ He fears a financial loss for the hospitality industry.

He calls it incomprehensible that today ‘everyone comes to the coast like sardines in a view on the train’, here ‘can stand in a row of a hundred meters long for an ice cream’, ‘can breathe out on unfinished benches’, but it is forbidden for the catering industry to serve their customers outside on a terrace ‘in the most healthy air in the country’ on disinfected chairs. According to him, the hospitality industry is the government’s scapegoat.

Toilet card

Several other coastal mayors have also reacted disappointed to the Consultation Committee’s decision not to reopen the catering industry until May. Especially during the Easter holidays, there are fears of an overrun on the coast. With all its consequences, there would not be enough public toilets to meet the sanitary needs of the day trippers.

Jan Jambon points out that it is impossible to make an exception off the coast. ‘It’s all terraces across the country open or nothing. I pleaded to do that on April 1, but there was no consensus about that in the Consultation Committee, so it has become May 1. ‘

Jambon is interested in the safety protocols that the various sectors (such as the hospitality industry, but also culture) can submit. ‘But we cannot have all those sectors relaxed at the same time, because then it will become unsafe again. The relaxation should be done in small steps. We have to look over the whole field, the goal still remains to limit the number of contacts. The worst thing we can experience now is to relax too quickly and then have to fold back. ‘

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