Extension of the lockdown would be “another huge blow for hospitality industry"
If the current lockdown has to be extended, it would mean “another huge blow for hospitality business owners.” This was the comment made by the hospitality trade association Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) in response to RIVM boss Jaap van Dissel’s statement of a possible lockdown extension. Retail organization INretail also says that every week that the lockdown lasts longer, the situation becomes more dire.
Head of the Dutch public health agency RIVM, Jaap van Dissel told in an interview with the AD that relaxation would not be possible until February because then the second round of vaccinations will take place and “from that period onwards partial relaxation will probably be possible for the groups that have been vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, restaurants have been closed since mid-October. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced tougher lockdown measures earlier this month that would last until January 19. Until then, all schools, non-essential shops, gyms, zoos, museums, and cinemas will remain closed. On January 12, the cabinet will assess the effects of the second lockdown and will determine what further measures will be necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
According to the KHN, a possible extension of the lockdown will also have “an enormous impact on the prospects for the entire sectors, suppliers, and guests.” The hospitality industry organization has been arguing for a better perspective for the future for some time already. “Perspective is crucial in terms of planning, personnel, and purchasing. These continuous ‘speculations’ are also causing a lot of unrest in the sector,” says a KHN spokesperson.
According to INretail, brick-and-mortar retailers are also extremely concerned about the prospects. “We continuously hear that there are growing concerns about the prospects. Retailers were allowed to keep the stores open until the start of the second lockdown, but even after the first lockdown, we saw that turnover fell because people no longer came to the shops. Online has taken off, and many entrepreneurs have made a digital move, but that does not compensate for the damage our shops suffer,” said a spokesman.