Hospitality workers most likely to test positive for Covid; call for staff to wear masks
Of all employees working in the catering and hospitality sector who got tested for the coronavirus since June, 5 percent tested positive. That makes the hospitality industry the professional group with the highest percentage of positive tests. In the last week of September, almost 11 percent of tested hospitality workers had the virus - about double of the tested healthcare workers, BNR reports.
Dick Koerselman of trade union FNV called on all catering staff to follow the government's advice and wear face masks when at work. He understands that the catering sector is very dependent on guests' discipline, but every little helps, he said to the broadcaster.
"A number of companies do not really take this task seriously. We have the urgent government advice to wear a face mask in public buildings. We tell our members to do that too, because it always contributes something," Koerselman said.
The union can't make face masks mandatory, and therefore also appealed to guests to stick to the coronavirus rules. "We must do everything we can to ensure that this sector remains open. We are dependent on the government and they gave advice. As a trade union, we are not going to make any obligations regarding employees, service or in the kitchen. It is about discipline: guests must simply keep their distance and within the work organization there must also be distance between colleagues," Koerselman said.
Hospitality organizations in Breda, Helmond and Eindhoven want to go even further and called on the government to implement a curfew. According to them, it doesn't help closing restaurants and pubs at 10:00 p.m. when guests then just continue partying at home or in the parks, not always adhering to the coronavirus rules, Omroep Brabant reports.
"The current measures are not working," Johan de Vos of the Breda department of hospitality association KHN, said to Omroep Brabant. "That's why we want a curfew and preferably as soon as possible. Then people will stop partying after ten." A curfew ensures that people go home De Vos said. "This way we can ensure that the virus is really pushed back. Because the catering industry will soon be even more screwed if the infections continue. Then we may have to close completely. We are trying to keep our shop open, but people just don't give a shit."
Hein Gruijsters of KHN Helmond and Ruud Bakker of KHN Eindhoven gave Omroep Brabant similar statements. "There must definitely be a curfew, because here in Helmond the home parties are also a drama," Gruijsters said. "And most infections take place in people's homes. Let's just tackle it hard now and set a curfew for two weeks. Otherwise the corona will continue to fester.
"It is half work what is happening now,' Bakker said. "A curfew is strict, but maybe we should limit the freedom of the consumer for a while. Because if we continue like this, the catering industry may close completely in two weeks."