A lockdown for the catering industry. The latest measures of the cabinet in the fight against corona have severely affected. “Then lock up the whole country.”
The hospitality industry is “tired of fighting”, says Pim Evers, chairman of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland Amsterdam. “Everyone is looking at how they can fire their people tomorrow. The frustration is enormous. ”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced at the beginning of the evening that there will be another partial lockdown in the fight against corona. Cafés, restaurants and coffee shops must close, although takeout is still allowed. In the shops there is a ban on the sale of alcohol from eight o’clock in the evening.
“We feel these hard blows as punishment,” says Evers. “The sector has been very busy with protocols and playing cop. We have made intelligent plans, entered into discussions and this is the reward. ”
The final blow
There have been few infections in the catering industry, said Rutte. But when it happens, the numbers immediately rise sharply, sometimes up to 380 people.
Could be, says Evers. “A small part of the catering industry does not have its affairs in order, but those kinds of occasions are really in the sights. The control is enormous. But what bothers me most is that all kinds of exceptions are made. If you want to intervene, do it right first time, à la China: the entire country locked up. Now it is again only the catering industry that is affected. ”
The consequences? Evers: “At the previous lockdown we saw a city full of junk, with streets where it is empty and dodgy at night.”
Koninklijke Horeca Nederland also foresees a wave of bankruptcies. “With this closure, there will be an additional loss of turnover of more than a billion euros,” says national chairman Robèr Willemsen. He therefore calls on the government to provide catering entrepreneurs with financial support. “This closure is really the final blow for many. I am very concerned about that. ”
Amsterdam catering tycoon Won Yip tells the ANP that he thinks the package of measures is nonsense. In line with Evers, he says: “I accept that the catering industry must be closed, but it will be if the whole of society is tackled. So also ban all sports, a curfew, just a complete lockdown. Only then does it make sense. ”
On the other hand, the atmosphere has been left unchanged among coffee shop owners in Amsterdam. “We are all in this together,” says Aïda Dedeic of coffee shop De Dampkring. “This is the only thing we can do. Of course the sector suffers from this, but we better get through the sour apple in one go. ”
The coffee shops are also less affected by the measure, because collection of hash and weed is still allowed. “With that, we also passed the previous lockdown. The cafes have a much harder time in that respect. ”
According to chairman Bart Drenth of MKB Amsterdam, the impact of the measures will mainly affect the city center of Amsterdam. Because people are advised not to move around, fun shopping is no longer an option. “The butcher, the grocer and the baker around the corner will be less bothered by this.”
But Drenth also thinks there is little else to it. “We cannot afford to do nothing. And then I am in any case happy with the clarity surrounding the mouth caps in the shops and the sale of alcohol. It is not watertight, because you can also stock up on drinks at seven o’clock, but we are rid of the queues we saw around the night shops after closing time in recent days. ”
However, the consequences for the local economy will be major, says Drenth. “I therefore expect the government to come up with more support.”