Hospitality industry worried about ‘1.5m economy’

1.5 m, coronavirus, hospitality, EIndhoven
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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s announced that people should prepare for a shift to a new ‘1.5-meter economy’. There’s looming confusion about the conditions for the reopening of cafes, pubs, and restaurants. That’s besides existing uncertainties.

“We haven’t yet consulted each other. But it’s clear that it’s difficult to run a catering business if everyone has to stay within 1.5m of each other,” says Tom van Brussel. He’s from the Stratumseind ​​Business Association. Tom’s also the owner of Café ‘t Lempke in Eindhoven. “Normally there’s room for 700 people in ‘t Lempke. However, if everyone has to keep a distance of 1.5 from each other, there’s space for only 70 people. This clearly isn’t profitable. ”

Adding to the uncertainties about the 1.5m distancing measure, business owners are faced with other questions as well. “It was said that if you have a good plan, you can open. But what if you can’t come up with a plan? Are you still entitled to compensation, or will it lapse?” 

Creativity will be key for businesses who want to reopen. “Hospitality business owners are in discussion with each other and the municipality,” says Van Brussel. “For example, allowing us to expand our terrace space temporarily will offer an option to guarantee the 1,5m measure. Those are the kind of solutions we’re considering. But we have to wait and see what turns out to be realisable. ”

Source: Studio040

Translator: Seetha

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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