New relaxations announced by the Consultative Committee have been welcomed by the hospitality industry, although the fact that they will take effect from Sunday 27 June has raised some eyebrows.
As part of the new measures, announced on Friday, the social bubble will be increased to eight persons per table, the use of plexiglass on terraces will be authorized, and hospitality establishments will be allowed to remain open until 1.00 a.m.
Reacting to the announcement, Fabian Hermans, director of the Fédération Horeca Bruxelles questioned the need for the delay. “The indicators are good at all levels, what more are we waiting for?” he wondered. “We are waiting an additional two weeks whereas everyone is having football parties at home.”
Belgian brewers, for their part, have welcomed the fact that the easing of the health-related measures has been brought forward by a few days. This “symbolic” gesture “is important for the sector, particularly with an eye to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.”
Wallonia’s hospitality federation has welcomed the relaxation, although it is aware that the effects of the crisis brought on by the novel Coronavirus pandemic will continue to be felt for a good while.
“I think we are emerging from this crisis, but one does not recover immediately from a 15-month crisis,” said Yves Collette of the Fédération Horeca Wallonie. “People will be going back on vacation. There is a type of euphoria with this gradual reopening. I’m wondering how the situation will evolve with the variant and the return of the holidays.”
The Fédération des Brasseurs (Brewers’ Federation) is calling for a gradual extension of establishments’ capacity to be authorised to prevent cafés or restaurants from encountering huge liquidity problems.
“Exceptional payment deadlines are approaching, and bills are beginning to come in,” the brewers stressed.