For the majority of catering entrepreneurs, it no longer makes sense to remain open if even stricter measures are introduced this week. That is what Robèr Willemsen, chairman of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, tells this news site. “If the cabinet comes up with even stricter measures tomorrow, that will be the final blow for many pubs and restaurants. There is a lot of grief in the industry. ”
Tonight and tomorrow, feverish discussions are still being held about the new corona measures. If the contamination figures do not drop sharply in the coming hours, there is a good chance that the catering industry will have to be closed for at least two weeks. A disastrous scenario, says Willemsen. “Every restriction that we get on top of the current measures is in fact a lockdown. It will no longer make sense to be open at all, ”he sighs.
Unbelief and frustration
Within the hospitality industry there is a lot of disbelief and frustration that the cabinet has ‘a blind spot for restaurants and pubs’. “Disappointing, because the problem is not in the hospitality industry. The cabinet has seen for months that the further closure of the catering industry has no influence at all on the figures. More and more studies are appearing that indicate outbreaks in the home situation and among migrants. It seems as if the cabinet no longer knows it all, and carelessly chooses a scapegoat. That is very unfortunate, and will soon be the death blow for many entrepreneurs. ”
Especially in uncertain times like these, people have a need for social contact, Willemsen emphasizes. He believes that the catering industry should therefore be part of the solution, as a safe alternative to house parties and illegal gatherings. “Thanks to strict protocols, people in the hospitality industry can still come together in a safe way.”
According to Willemsen, the number of demonstrable infections in the catering industry is also relatively low. “We recently submitted a nice plan to the cabinet about how we all think we can get through this crisis safely and responsibly. It has been looked at, but nothing has been done with it. It is to make you despondent. ”
Last weekend, KHN submitted a plan to Economic Affairs together with the MKB-Nederland trade association. This proposes alternative, smart measures, such as assessing a catering company on its function and activity, such as eating and drinking, meeting or sleeping.
The trade associations also want a corona measures tool where entrepreneurs can enter specifications of their company. Think of the number of square meters, the region and how the ventilation is arranged, but also how a mouth mask is handled and whether there are cough screens. “Minister Wiebes was enthusiastic, as was State Secretary Mona Keijzer”, Willemsen says. “Unfortunately, we have to hear from the press again measures.”
Dance springs up
According to Willemsen, almost all catering establishments are currently hit hard. “There is no sector within the industry that escapes the dance. Yes, that one coffee shop that can only be opened during the day may still be running nicely, but that won’t last long either. Everyone will soon be avoiding the city. ”
Whether the catering industry should be completely closed or opening hours limited is still a matter of debate. Tomorrow the cabinet will take extra corona measures to further reduce the number of movements and contacts between people. For example, contact sports by amateurs in teams over the age of 18 may also be temporarily banned.
There is also a chance that travel by public transport will be further discouraged. People should only make necessary trips. Rutte had already said on Friday that the goal is mainly to let people meet each other less. If there are fewer contacts, the chance of the corona virus spreading is also less. The number of infections has risen sharply in recent weeks.
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