Catering owner fails to understand the policy over lockdown

Horeca Eindhoven
Picture credit: studio040

The schools open and the restaurants and stores to close sooner. The leaked advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is yet another harsh message for hotel and catering industry boss, Ruud Bakker.

The hospitality entrepreneur and chairman of the Eindhoven branch of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (Royal catering Nederland) doesn’t understand it anymore. That is what he says to Omroep Brabant. He would prefer a hard lockdown of two weeks: “A hard reset. Everything closed for two weeks. Then everyone bears the burden.”

Infections coming from school

In his opinion the emphasis is put on the wrong place. This bothers him particularly. “As far as I know, infections are coming from schools. Those are and not from the catering industry,” Bakker told Omroep Brabant.

He is right. According to the RIVM only 0.9 percent people contracted corona in the hospitality industry in the past week. 19.4 percent of the identifiable infections came from schools and childcare centers.

To close or not to close voluntarily?
Photo credit: Terraces in Eindhoven Centrum, Chaitali Sengupta


Difference between closing at five o’clock and eight o’ clock

“It seems as if the government doesn’t want to tackle the real source of infections,” believes Bakker. “What is the difference between closing at five o’clock and closing at eight o’clock? This is like putting the plaster on a very big wound.”

Bakker is not the only hospitality entrepreneur who thinks like this. “I’m in a group app with other entrepreneurs and every minute a message comes in. People don’t understand. Since the previous measures announced we have had a 50% drop in sales. And yet the infections are not going down.”

Closing for two weeks
Ruud Bakker, contrary to what you might expect from a hospitality entrepreneur, prefers closing all sectors for two weeks.

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advises closing cafes, restaurants, and non-essential stores at five o’clock. The OMT advice states that education should remain open. Sources tell the NOS.

Because of the high number of infections and hospitalizations, the government had asked for an early recommendation. Whether they will adopt this OMT advice is not yet clear.


Translation: Chaitali Sengupta

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