The Belgian hospitality industry approves of the National Security Council's decision to introduce additional measures in their businesses from Saturday.
Wearing a face mask will be compulsory in all establishments of the hospitality industry, except at the table. Additionally, guests will also have to fill in their contact details, the National Security Council decided on Thursday.
These measures are supported by the presidents of the Horeca federations of Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders.
"The obligation to wear a mask is a good thing, I think," said Yves Collette, president of the cafe section of the Horeca Wallonia Federation.
"At least things are clear. Until now, one part of the population has been asking for strict measures, while the other has not wanted them. From Saturday, the owner of the restaurant or cafe will not have to argue any more, that will simplify things," he added.
For Philippe Trine, president of the Horeca Brussels Federation, the obligation to wear a mask should not change much. "The mask was already provided for travel within the establishments, to go to the toilet for example, so the customers are already used to it," he added.
Matthias de Caluwe, president of Horeca Vlaanderen, shares the same opinion. "As soon as you enter an establishment or shop, you wear your mask. Everybody knows the rules now," he said.
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Additionally, customers will have to leave an e-mail address or telephone number so that they can easily be notified in case of infection in the bar or restaurant they went to.
"This is already customary in restaurants. When you make a reservation, you always ask for the name and phone number, so I do not think there is a problem," said Trine.
Collette, on the other hand, said he has mixed feelings about this measure. "When making reservations, it will not change much, but when customers spontaneously show up at a café, will they give their contact details, will they not fear for their privacy?" he asked.
The president of the cafe section of the Walloon federation nevertheless believes, like his Brussels and Flemish counterparts, that these more restrictive measures are logical, given the increase in the number of cases of coronavirus, and necessary if they make it possible to avoid reconfinement and a cascade of bankruptcies.
The Brussels Times