Cafe terraces to reopen at noon today; Hospitality owners worried revenue won’t help survival
Cafés with outside terraces can welcome guests again from Wednesday after more than 6 months during which they had to remain closed due to waves of coronavirus infections. Visits are possible from 12 p.m. through 6 p.m. and only by reservation.
No more than 2 people may be seated together unless they are from the same household and a maximum of 50 guests in total is allowed to visit at the same time. Reservation is mandatory and can be made online or by phone, but can also be done at the location. Health checks are performed upon arrival.
At The Pub in Amstelveen, cafe owner Jaap Buijs told NH Nieuws that he is pleased customers can return, but it will not help financially until people are also allowed back inside. “The government is also giving us a major policing task to enforce this," he said. "It's a lot of misery for nothing at all."
Nearby at the Abina restaurant, Laurens Janssen said re-entering lockdown because infections remain high or because Covid-19 hospitalizations continue upward could be a final blow for many entrepreneurs. "If we have to close again now, I'm going to cry," he told the regional news outlet.
Hospitality sector association KHN has been pushing for at least a reopening of outdoor cafe areas for months. The lobbying group remained very concerned for the large number of cafes and restaurants that do not have outside terraces and will therefore remain closed. KHN stated they will continue to advocate further reopening as the first is "a small ray of hope, but not enough," NU.nl reported.
It was previously reported that a large part of the hospitality industry may not be able to reopen once the government gives the green light for the relaxation of coronavirus measures in this sector, as a significant number of entrepreneurs lack the financial means to pay personnel and purchase supplies.
Wednesday saw the reopening of terraces, the elimination of shopping-by-appointment at retailers, and the elimination of the curfew as the first of the government’s six-step gradual reopening plan meant to get the country out of lockdown until early July.