Hospitality industry: ‘Cabinet remains very careful’, retail chains happy and disappointed | Coronavirus
Large retail chains are happy that they can receive extra customers, but are disappointed with the maximum number of fifty customers at a time. Koninklijke Horeca Nederland is also not only happy with the announcement that the terraces will probably be open again on March 31. “We had hoped for a slightly bigger step.”
Shops are currently allowed to receive a maximum of two customers per floor by appointment, provided they can keep 1.5 meters away. From next week, the floor area will also be looked at. One customer per 25 square meters is allowed into the store, up to a maximum of fifty customers, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in the press conference tonight.
Hardware store is fed up with the ceiling
Hornbach initially called the expansion of the maximum number of customers ‘fantastic’, but the construction market chain has become less enthusiastic because of the ceiling. According to a spokesperson, a Hornbach branch has an average surface area of 15,000 square meters. That would mean that without a ceiling, six hundred customers could be in the store at the same time if enough distance could be kept. Hema’s branches are between 300 and 3000 square meters in size, with a few outliers above. “We welcome any relaxation,” said a spokesperson for the retail chain.
Rober Willemsen, chairman of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), thinks the announcement that the terraces will probably be allowed to reopen from 31 March ‘at least something’. “But the cabinet remains very cautious, we had hoped for a slightly bigger step.” Because entrepreneurs with a hotel, a restaurant or café owners without a terrace still do not benefit from the announced relaxation. “In any case, this relaxation will only apply in three weeks’ time. Apparently the cabinet still sees us more as part of the problem than part of the solution. ” KHN will meet with the relevant ministers on Wednesday to discuss further aid measures, Willemsen says.
Johan de Vos, vice-chairman of KHN Breda, wants to use the coming weeks to further discuss how many people are allowed on a terrace after March 31. “What is possible if you have a terrace that can seat seven hundred people?” De Vos was in the news last week because he briefly opened his terrace in Breda in protest against the measures. “What can be done again later is in any case more than nothing. It has been about us more often in the past week than in the previous six months. ”
The travel sector has gained a little more perspective as a result of the press conference of outgoing Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge. “No date has yet been set, but the tone was more positive and specific attention was paid to the wish of many Dutch people to go on holiday again,” says ANVR director Frank Oostdam. “Nor was it said that you should not book a holiday, as was always the case in recent press conferences.” Oostdam therefore hopes that the Dutch will book again for the summer holidays. “Then some money will come in at many companies. That is badly needed. “
Elderly union Anbo calls the extension of visits for residents of nursing homes ‘an improvement’. The outgoing cabinet announced on Monday that in nursing homes where residents have been vaccinated, the maximum number of visitors allowed will be increased from one to two per day. The association of seniors advocates that if this relaxation is successful, it should be taken forward quickly, for example to two moments of two visitors per day.
Students do not rule out actions
“A bright spot on the horizon for students,” the Interurban Student Consultation (ISO) calls the announcement that students may be able to come to their college or university one day a week from the end of March. “Online education promotes loneliness, gloominess and concentration problems. It is good that the cabinet is going to take steps towards more physical education, ”says chairman Dahran Çoban.
Chairman Lyle Muns of the National Student Union (LSVb) calls 31 March ‘really the last date’. “We had hoped that higher education would already be partially opened. Once a week at a distance of 1.5 meters, we think it can be done safely, ”says Muns. “If it takes longer, I cannot rule out actions.”
Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) clearly said that the reopening of higher education does depend on the development of the number of corona infections and hospital admissions.
Amateur football director Jan Dirk van der Zee of the KNVB is dissatisfied with the minor relaxation of the corona rules. “The current age limit of the cabinet for sports together up to and including 26 years splits every amateur association and countless teams,” he said. “That is unnecessary because football is played safely in the open air. We have therefore not been helped enough with the current easing. We remain committed to ensuring that everyone can quickly play football with his or her team again. ”
Prime Minister Rutte announced on Monday evening that adults can again exercise with a maximum of four people from 16 March. “We have seen through calculations that we have all gained millions of kilos”, said Rutte. “That’s why this little relaxation.”