Trade organization Koninklijke Horeca Nederland is angry about the introduction of the corona admission ticket. “With only 2.4 percent infections in the catering industry, this sector is saddled with extra restrictions.” Yet that percentage means little.
The GGD and RIVM keep track of where people contract a corona infection. In the most recent week, between August 31 and September 7, only 2.4 percent of the infections took place in the catering industry. That is precisely why the sector finds it unreasonable that they have to take extra measures.
‘It’s not rocket science’
But according to Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the LUMC Frits Rosendaal, that 2.4 percent is not saying much. “Hospitality does not currently play a major role in the spread, but that is also because the sector is partly not open. With relaxation, the question is therefore not: is it an important source now? But: is there a risk that, if you relax, you become an important resource?”
And the answer to that question is partly yes. We saw that in June, with the ‘Dancing with Janssen’ debacle, but also during the first corona wave. “That was a lot in the south of the Netherlands, where carnival takes place, and that is a catering event,” says Rosendaal. “It’s not rocket science at all: if a lot of people are close to each other and make noise and it is close, you infect each other more easily.”
Source and contact research
Epidemiologist Arnold Bosman, affiliated with the Red Team, points to the source and contact investigation: “What amazes me is that there is still no dashboard on which we can see how well that works. And if you do not know how effective it is. you can’t send it either.”
On an individual level, it is difficult to trace the source of an infection, Bosman says. “You have one patient in front of you. He has been to two catering establishments at most. But it is difficult to decide where that patient became infected,” says the epidemiologist. “Is that in the catering industry? Or was that because of that colleague who came to visit yesterday? Or because of the child who has come home from school?” It is therefore difficult to say whether the 2.4 percent is completely correct.
Major outbreak or not?
The most important question that must be taken into account in the measures is actually: if the catering industry opens fully again, will we have a major corona outbreak? “That could certainly be the case, because the past shows that that happened,” says epidemiologist Frits Rosendaal.
“But, on the other hand, we now have a high vaccination rate and many young people, who go to the catering industry a lot, have already been infected once. So I think a selective opening of one or the other is quite understandable. .”
How many infections are there in the catering industry? Lammert de Bruin checks it in Fact or Fiction for EenVandaag on NPO Radio 1