Will the measures be relaxed tonight, hospitality industry wonders

Catering industry waits for relaxing measures
Photo credit: Peter Paul on his terrace of the Strabrechtse Hoeve, omroepbrabant

Hospitality companies are eagerly awaiting tonight’s press conference. They’re wondering how the world will look after 28 April. 

“My terrace is open”, says Peter Paul, owner of Strabrechtse Hoeve in Mierlo proudly. “Besides the fact that the tables are far apart, a cart on wheels is my biggest secret weapon in the new ‘1.5m society’. Orders are brought to the table by the waiter or the guest can pick up his order himself. Now let’s hope Prime Minister Rutte relaxes the measures tonight.”

There’s a hope that the cabinet will give more information tonight about the future for schools and the recreation and hospitality industries. The last two are commercial branches and interests are high.

Doing nothing’s not an option

Erwin Poels’s chairman of the hospitality industry in Cuijk and remains calm despite all the uncertainty. “Leaning back and sitting still isn’t an option now. Whoever does that isn’t going to make it. It’s as simple as that.”

Normally, the hotels, bars, and restaurants in Cujik are already looking forward to the VierdaagseFeest (Four Days festival). It’s held annually at the end of July, merging with the Nijmegen Four Days festival.  “We have to make choices now. No events until 1 September will provide clarity. We also need to think about whether we really need to be busy at this time of year. Let alone international hustle and bustle. I imagine they’d rather stay away now.”

Those are pragmatic words, coming from Cuijk. The hospitality industry in Breda previously said somewhat emotionally, that the ‘1.5m economy’s’ not feasible. The Cuijk restaurant owner’s made a change to his business. He’s made it possible to pick up and bring food and by delivering drinks and snacks to the pub quiz. “I can’t manage financially like this, but something is better than nothing and I keep looking where the chances are now.”

Things will change at parks and campsites too

The pickup and drop off principle will also be used at large recreation parks such as the Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek and large campsites such as TerSpegelt in Eersel. The May holidays are already considered lost by these parties, because the current measures will certainly last until 28 April. “That does give us the space to think together, after Tuesday evening to make definitive plans, if we’re to reopen under new conditions”, says spokesperson, Linda Engels, of Beekse Bergen.

It’s not yet clear how the Beekse Bergen wants to go about with Speelland and the campsite. “If the holiday homes can be reopened, then keeping 1.5m distance’s no problem. At the Safari Park, one-way traffic for pedestrians is set up. The indoor accommodations will remain closed and there will be extra toilets to guarantee space at the sanitary facilities. We’re also going to train employees to become crowd managers who have to keep an eye on whether people are standing too close together”, says Linda.

New job – crowd manager

In addition to new ideas such as trolleys on wheels, delivery of meals and snacks, there’s also a profession on the rise: that crowd manager. It was already there at large events to manage large groups of visitors. Now, crowd managers can also work on a smaller scale at the campsite and the recreation park.

For the time being, the swimming pool will remain closed in the Beekse Bergen recreation park. At TerSpegelt camping, they’re waiting to see what the National Health Department’ll say about this. “We have luxury tents and cottages with their own sanitary facilities”, says Dorien Verschuiten of the holiday park in the Kempen. “If the rules are relaxed a bit, they can probably be used first.”

“And of course, we’re anxious about what Prime Minister Rutte says on this evening, but in the end, the regional security groups will decide whether a possible relaxation will also apply to Brabant. It’s stricter here than in most other provinces.”

Source: omroepbrabant.nl

translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering lessons. Click here for more info.

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