Restaurants called on to open Tuesday, despite lockdown
An action group of 65 local branches of hospitality association KHN called on restaurants and other catering entrepreneurs to open their terraces on Tuesday, despite the fact that this is still banned by the coronavirus lockdown, Omroep Brabant reports.
Catering establishments have been closed for everything except takeaways since October. They hoped that the government would relax some measures for them in a press conference on Tuesday, but they were out of luck. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that secondary schools could reopen with strict limitations, that most contact professions could open, and that non-essential stores could open for shopping on appointment. But catering establishments are still closed.
That was the last straw for many bar- and restaurant owners, who said that they would respond to the call to open their terraces, the local KHN branches said. "Many catering people say that they can't go on in this way, so on 2 March the terraces will open," initiator Johan de Vos said to Omroep Brabant. "Because we are sure that we can open our businesses safely and responsibly. To start with outside with the terraces. Of course at 1.5 meters."
Rober Willemsen, chairman of the national KHN, warned that this could happen. "It cannot be long before people open the doors again despite everything. I fear I cannot stop that," Willemsen said to AD after the press conference on Tuesday. "We are receiving more and more of these kind of signals via text messages, emails and social media."
"We have been able to keep that under control so far, because we have always been against this kind of civil disobedience," he said. "I'm not going to call for it for now, but I'm not going to reject it either."