Chinese restaurant in Bruges refuses Asian clients ‘because of coronavirus’
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    Chinese restaurant in Bruges refuses Asian clients ‘because of coronavirus’

    The owner clarified that Asian people living in Belgium are still welcome in the restaurant, as it is only tourists he will not serve. Credit: Google Street View

    A Chinese restaurant in Bruges is systemically refusing Asian clients because the owner is afraid that they may be infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19).

    Groups of Asian people are no longer being served in the restaurant. “Personally, I am not scared right now, but other members of the family are cautious,” said the owner of the restaurant ‘China’ in the Zuidzandstraat in Bruges, reports regional newspaper KW. “We see the Chinese news and just want to take the right measures,” the manager added.

    The restaurant is not hurting itself with the measure, the owner said. “It is not so bad. About 75% of our customers are Belgians. And it’s low season at the moment anyway, especially for Asian tourists. They mainly come in April and May. So we have not had to refuse that many people yet,” they said.

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    The manager himself is from China, and does not consider his measure to be racist. “This has nothing to do with people’s origins. I notice that some people call it a racist decision, but that is not it at all. We just want to take our responsibility and make sure it doesn’t get as far here as it did in China. We refuse those people for their own sake and for our health,” he said. “It really is just common sense,” he added.

    The owner clarified that Asian people living in Belgium are still welcome in the restaurant, as it is only tourists he will not serve, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. “Of course, we try to do that tactfully,” he said. “For example, by asking in Dutch whether people have made reservations. That way we know immediately if the clients are tourists,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times